AT WHOSE SER­VICE?

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - COVER STORY -

You can legally have your new car ser­viced by any li­censed work­shop with­out af­fect­ing your fac­tory war­ranty en­ti­tle­ments, as long as the work is done to the maker’s spec­i­fi­ca­tion, by qual­i­fied me­chan­ics us­ing qual­ity parts.

Car com­pa­nies and deal­ers can­not claim that your fac­tory war­ranty, or your rights un­der the Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law, will re­main valid only if you get your car ser­viced at a dealer.

“We will take ac­tion against car com­pa­nies and deal­ers to get that point across if they mis­lead con­sumers,” says Rod Sims, chair­man of the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion (pic­tured).

Whether you use a dealer or an in­de­pen­dent work­shop, the golden rule of buy­ing a new car also ap­plies to ser­vic­ing. Shop around.

Most car com­pa­nies now have ser­vic­ing sched­ules and prices for in­di­vid­ual mod­els listed on their web­sites. Com­pare them with quotes from in­de­pen­dent chains, such as Ul­tra Tune, or a lo­cal work­shop that’s con­ve­nient to you.

And if you’re un­happy with a ser­vice be­cause it has not been done prop­erly, you also have rights un­der the Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law.

“If a ser­vice is not up to scratch you can say, ‘Do it again,’ ” says Sims.

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