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Joining Motor Codes can be a business tool tooAdvertisement featureIndependent garages and franchised dealers that have not yet signed up to Motor Codes are missing out on a valuable business tool that costs a mere £75 a year.Chris Mason, Motor Codes director, says: "More than 6,200 garages already with us know it's great value for money. "What's more, they are all listed on our website. And that's the place where an increasing number of car owners go to find somewhere trustworthy to repair or service their car at a reasonable price."All the outlets listed have to comply with a Motor Codes pledge to treat car owners properly. The initiative was set up by the industry when the Government said it may licence all Britain's garages if standards did not improve."Most of the UK's service and repair centres are doing a good job for their customers," said Mr Mason. "The bad minority create a problem for everyone else, but things are changing. That's because people don't want to be ripped off and almost everyone finds what they want through internet searches.Motor Codes garages can generate a garage rating as customers complete the 'code survey' based on their service or repair experience.The rating is based on feedback from people who have spent money on their car at the garage - it's the next best thing to getting a personal recommendation (or a warning not to go there). And the feedback is showing that 92% of people who rate a Motor Codes garage are satisfied with the way they were treated."In only two years since the Code was launched owners of outlets are now seeing they need to be part of the Motor Codes network to ensure they remain competitive locally," said Mr Mason. The Garage Finder tool at is a postcode-driven list of local garages that guarantee to provide honest service at fair prices.All outlets that are listed agree to voluntary self-regulation and are retested every two years. Garages can make their subscription a powerful business tool by using the brand in promotional activities and creating a profile page for their garage on the website.The secret of Motor Codes' successChris Mason says the reason for the Code's success is the way it was set up. He knew that a number of previous attempts failed because they were not thought through properly."I was told it all had to be done in 18 months because of the pressure from the consumer lobby," he said. "But it took three years because we had to gain garage and dealership owners' trust and explain the reasons we were doing it. Now it's working to the advantage of the whole service and repair sector."The Department for Transport has thrown its weight behind Motor Codes' programme to transform the UK service and repair sector in 2010 with an extensive consumer awareness campaign.Transport minister Paul Clark told director Chris Mason that he was encouraged by the level of support Motor Codes has gained across the industry. Mr Clark also mentioned the support from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, whose work impacts directly on every service and repair garage."We encourage motorists to use a garage that subscribes to an Office of Fair Trading approved code of practice, such as the Motor Industry Code for Service and Repair," he said.Motor Codes is now reaching out directly to car owners. It has driven more to subscribing garages through a competition to identify the UK's Golden Garage. Over 4,000 people voted and now the UK's top 50 garages are listed at (national winner will be announced on April 6).There has also been support from Jonas Zambakides, chairman of the newly formed IAAF (Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation) garage division. He urged the Depart-ment for Transport to make a Motor Codes subscription one of VOSA's assessment criteria for its MoT centres."The independent service and repair sector is crying out for a reliable and cost-effective means of self-regulation and Motor Codes offers just that," said Mr Zambakides. "Reputation and trust are key business tools for MoT service centres and independent garages."High-level support for Motor CodesThe image to be displayed on garages' profile pages on Mason: "fantastic success rate"A £75 annual payment provides dealers with more than just compliance

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