Will an Aftermarket Upgrade Violate or Void My Warranty?

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Franchised dealers sometimes poorly advise aftermarket clients

  • Repairs from Independent workshops don’t void warranties

When your car needs a repair or upgrade, you may discover a common conflict between franchised car dealers and independent workshops. In order to boost productivity and aftermarket revenue, authorised service centres will often seek to convince clients that their warranties will become void if they obtain services and products from a local or independent workshop. This is simply not true, and here’s why:

> Under the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) 2010, franchised dealers are not permitted to threaten or invalidate a warranty on a car if the customer does not use the original manufacturer’s services, or parts supplied by the specific dealer.

> If a company were to instruct their clients in this manner, they would be violating part of the EU anti-competition directives.

When an aftermarket workshop or company fits a vehicle with a part or upgrade that is of equal or higher quality, it does not void the warranty. If an incident does occur and aftermarket products are truly involved, the burden of proof lies with the manufacturer to assert that the non-stock equipment was the cause. However, on far too many dealer forecourts, customers have been lured into thinking their warranty would be voided if any such improvements are implemented.

This conflict occurs more often than many automotive professionals would like to admit. It is a source of frustration for local and independently run workshops and companies that may have retained these clients’ business. Despite it being explicitly against the law, it continues to occur within the automotive community.

Drivers should not be intimidated or afraid to have their car repaired or upgraded at any independent workshop. Consumers should feel safe when they drive their car that has had satisfactory and quality work completed as well as peace of mind that their factory warranty will still be intact.

If you are seeking an upgrade for your vehicle, please call us on 01784 603125 and we can help talk through the legalities and all your options.


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