UK car owners, franchised dealers, and independent garages could all benefit from new recommendations on new car warranties, Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) chief executive Matthew Carrington said on Wednesday after an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) study proposed fewer restrictions on new car servicing.

Some new car warranties currently prevent consumers from having their cars serviced outside of the dealer network from which the car was bought. If they do so, the warranty can become void. The study recommends removing servicing restrictions, which would allow consumers to go outside of that network, either to another franchised dealer network or to an independent garage.

"Allowing servicing work to take place outside of the original dealer network would mean more business for those garages that have made the investment, have the equipment, and have undertaken the relevant training to meet the required standards of the recommended manufacturer service schedule," Carrington said.

He said car owners would have a greater choice of service centre and could reduce the distance they travel for servicing as some parts of the country have less coverage by franchised dealers than others.

"If restrictions were lifted, they could choose to take their car to either a competent independent garage or a dealer with a franchise of a different marque within their area."