Independents accepting alternatively fuelled vehicles

An increasing number of independent garages are carrying out routine servicing and repairs on electric, hybrid and other alternatively fuelled vehicles (AVFs), according to Autodata. The data firm has reported a 104 per increase in access to data relating to models in this category over the last quarter. The most popular information requested by Autodata subscribers included service schedules, interactive coloured wiring diagrams and wheel alignment specifications.

In August, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced a 58.6 per cent rise in year-to-date sales of electric vehicles in 2015 compared to last year. The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has also seen an increase in independent garages attending hybrid awareness courses, which provide technicians with a qualification to deal with eco models.

Autodata chief executive, Rod Williams, commented: “It is encouraging to see a number of garages take a proactive step to actively accept jobs on alternatively fuelled vehicles. In the past there has often been a misconception about the ability of independents to carry out routine servicing and repairs on hybrids, however the reality is that with a modest level of investment in new tools and training, this can be achieved to the same standard as a one-brand dealer.

“If you look back historically at emerging technologies, such as TPMS and diesel particular filters, these were all things that workshops were reluctant at first to touch but have now become part and parcel of an independent’s offerings. It appears that AFVs are moving this way, and as with all the above technologies, Autodata is committed to respond to the market to ensure independents can always capitalise on new opportunities.”

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