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4 Questions South African Drivers Are Asking About The Right to Repair

by | March 2020

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As a South African driver, what does Right to Repair mean for you?

Does this new Right to Repair bill affect me as a new car/vehicle owner?

Simple answer, yes.

In the past, new car owners were locked into using a single dealership/manufacturer chain to repair their vehicle.

But that’s not the case anymore. You, as a consumer in the motoring industry, will have loads more freedom thanks to The Competition Commission.

The Competition Commission’s drafted guidelines, the Right to Repair bill, is a lengthy read and a bit complicated. Bottom line, we don’t expect you to read it. But this bill is bound to have a wide-reaching effect on the South African motoring market. 

So, let’s answer some of your Right to Repair questions, and what it means for new car/vehicle owners in Mzansi.

Do I Get To Choose Who Repairs My Car?

Keeping the answer short, yes.

But let’s share some more information.

Car owners have never been able to select who repairs their cars. Which is a shame.

After all, you’ve probably created bonds with trustworthy mechanics over the years. Only to dump them as soon as you’ve become successful and bought yourself a new set of wheels.

Now, with the Competition Commission’s guidelines, you don’t have to change mechanics.

In other words, you can take your new car to the local and trustworthy mechanic. They will need to meet certain standards, but that’s another blog.

Also included in the Right to Repair bill are insurers.

What this means is that if you have an accident you have the right to select who you want to perform the repairs.

Manufacturers and insurers will be required to inform customers of this change. But we suggest sharing this blog post with your friends and family. 

Although, the dealer you’ve signed your car’s in-warranty agreement with aren’t required to pay for the repair and work .

This means while you can go elsewhere for repairs, you’ll need to pay for it out of your own pocket.

Can I Select Cheaper Parts For Repairs?

The simple answer, yes.

Previously, manufacturers would force you to purchase only their parts. Or in motoring jargon, cars in-warranty had to use ‘genuine parts’.

If car owners decided to fit a non-genuine part, they’d be violating the agreement, and they’d have to pay for the services and new genuine parts.

Now, when you take your in-warranty car for a service, the manufacturers will need to offer you options.

Our Bosch Car Service Centre‘s staff are very happy about this. As consumers can now insist on getting Bosch parts fitted.

Do I Need To Still Purchase Set Repair Plans?

The quick answer, no.

Previously, you were required to buy the plan and vehicle together.

New car owners who can’t afford to buy a vehicle with a plan are now not required to purchase them as a bundled set.

Also, you can select another institution/service provider with whom to take out your maintenance and service plans.

It’s also worth mentioning, you’ll be allowed to select the duration of these plans, as well as what time you want to start it.

So, if you can’t afford the plan on top of the price of the car, you start it at a later date.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About the Right to Repair?

Yes.

According to the Right to Repair bill, dealers will be required to separate costs. This means you’ll see how much that service and maintenance plan actually costs.

Also, information that manufacturers have previously kept secret will now have to be shared.

An example of this in action is as follows.

If a computer in your modern car malfunctions, you won’t need to return to the manufacturers to have it diagnosed. Smaller shops will have access to this information – and will be able to purchase specialist machines from well-known brands. 

In Conclusion

Overall, we believe this is a big win for the South African consumer.

Also, independent service providers (aka mechanic ) would also consider this a win. After all, they now have access to a larger market.

We believe South African drivers are winning thanks to the Right to Repair bill.

If you want to exercise your right to repair, you can book your car into our Bosch Car Repair Centre, here.