Block Exemption Regulations

In October 2003 European Union legislation affecting the motor trade came into force. Its full title is ‘Block Exemption Regulations 1400/2002’ (in short ‘BER’).

This legislation changes the way cars may be serviced and repaired and gives motorists a lot more freedom in their decision as to who should look after their cars. Before BER it was very difficult to have cars, which were still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, serviced anywhere except a franchised dealer.

Now motorists can use any garage of their choice to service their cars without invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty, subject to:

The Office of Fair Trading confirms that the new BER prohibits vehicle assemblers’ warranties from including conditions requiring that:

Therefore Motorists and Garages are no longer forced to use parts supplied from the Vehicle Assembler in order to maintain the New Vehicle Warranty. There is a new definition of ‘original spare parts’ and ‘matching quality parts’ that is based on the quality of the component, and these parts may be used when servicing vehicles and purchased through the independent aftermarket.

Don’t forget, the new BER helps parts distributors, independent garages and, most importantly, motorists.

These notes are intended to introduce interested parties to the topic of BER. They should not be taken as a definition of the law or proposed laws. Whilst every care has been taken in the writing of these notes, MWT can accept no liability for any event arising from their use