The SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) has launched SIMI Autosure Professional Register (SIMI APR), a new scheme to professionalise car servicing in Ireland. According to a recent survey, two thirds of motorists are putting off their car service because they cannot afford it.
President of SIMI, Gerry Caffrey says, “There are a lot of drivers out there who don’t get their car serviced because there’s nothing visibly wrong with it. Many wait until something serious goes wrong, such as engine or a brake failure. That’s when it’s often too late and the cost to fix the vehicle far outweighs the cost of the initial service.
“There has been a big increase in untrained and illegal operators at the fringes of our Industry offering to service cars. While it may seem like a bargain at the time, often the work carried out by such operators is to a poor standard, which could leave a car in dangerous condition and the owner out of pocket when something goes wrong with their car.”
Cars have become increasingly complex and in need of very specific servicing expertise, even using the wrong grade of oil can seriously damage a modern engine.
Similar to the RECI scheme currently in operation for Electrical Contractors, only qualified technicians can sign off on service work carried out. Parts that need replacement will be kept to show the necessity of such replacement, which will only be done on the customer’s specific instructions, and only original car parts, or parts of matching quality, will be used.
After the service work is signed off by a qualified technician, an SIMI APR sticker with the current year will be placed on the window of the car, to show that it was serviced to the highest possible standard. A record over time of adhering to such professional servicing should also ensure a much greater value on the vehicle when the time comes to trade it in.
Under the SIMI APR scheme, the customer will receive an information leaflet after the service has been carried out and information on the specific work carried out on their vehicle. Motorists should look out for the SIMI APR logo when they go to get their next service.