How Could Brexit Affect Local Car Garages
There’s been much talk over the past two years about how Brexit will impact the political landscape of the UK, but little has been covered about the impact on many of the tens of thousands of small, local businesses that operate throughout our neighbourhoods. Many of these businesses are already struggling to stay afloat in highly competitive markets, and so the uncertainty of Brexit risks serious consequences to the jobs and livelihoods of many thousands of workers.
This article is going to explore how local car garages may be affected by Brexit — especially in a ‘no-deal’ scenario — and what we as a business are doing to ensure we continue to provide high-quality services to our customers for fair, competitive prices regardless of the outcome.
Right To Repair Act
One of the biggest threats facing the automobile industry in a post-Brexit Britain is the repeal and exemption from the EU’s ‘Right To Repair’ scheme.
The Right To Repair Act was created by the EU to prevent anti-competitive practices within the motor industry. It demanded that car manufacturers provided vital information regarding the mechanisms and inner workings of their vehicles. Without this information, it would be far more difficult for independent car garages to undergo their operations, especially in a climate of constantly-changing and advancing car technology. The Right To Repair Act makes the information easily accessible to all businesses in EU-member states, allowing them to grow alongside the advancing car technologies and prosper as an independent business.
With Britain set to crash out of the EU, local car garages will no longer be a part of the Right To Repair scheme which will render it difficult for them to carry out their operations as efficiently. They will have to go to extra efforts to keep themselves up to date with the latest manufacturing technologies and developments, just so that they know how to fix their client’s cars in the correct way. However they choose to do this will no doubt become more difficult and costly. It is very likely that some businesses will not be able to cope with these added demands.
The consumer will also suffer. With information not being readily available to smaller, independent businesses, and many of these businesses being forced to fold as a result, numerous consumers will be forced to visit large, franchised maintenance providers instead. These franchised servicers typically cost 40% more than independent garages.
The Right To Repair scheme may be protected in the event of a government-negotiated Brexit deal, but certainly won’t be in the case of no-deal.
Freedom Of Movement
Another implication of Brexit — deal or not — will be the end of free movement.
Free movement is a fundamental part of the European Union’s philosophy, allowing people to move and work in other EU-member states without restrictions. Since Britain has been in the EU, many businesses have been bolstered by migrant workers. Once Britain leaves the EU, these numbers will diminish.
Staunch Brexiteers will claim this to be a positive change, with many jobs free for British workers to claim, reducing unemployment and improving the economy.
Others argue that a reduction in migrant workers will be a great hindrance, especially for businesses in the automobile industry. The argument stems from the notion that the automobile industry — especially if the ‘Right To Repair’ act is repealed for the UK — will require workers from across the continent who have experience with all car manufacturers and their technology. Without it, the combined knowledge within a business will be limited, leading to a reduction in proficiency.
Here at Oaks Services, we follow the fluctuating news closely and ensure all the necessary precautions and contingency plans are in place to allow our business to flourish. We aim to continue providing our high-quality and extensive range of services for low, competitive prices regardless of the Brexit outcome. For more information, give our friendly team a call today.