The UK’s Retail Motor Industry Federation, (RMI) spent part of this week arguing for changes to the current European Union bloc exemption system, the website reported.

Representatives of the RMI, an association of vehicle retailers and repairers, were at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, arguing for the control car makers have over dealers to be relaxed, the website said.

Autowired quoted RMI chief executive David Evans as saying: “In the main, car dealers believe there should be special rules for vehicle sales and distribution, essentially because of the specialist nature of the product.

“Vehicles need formal sales premises and highly qualified sales and servicing personnel to ensure customer safety and satisfaction.

He added: “To improve customer satisfaction, independent service and repair outlets should have access to all manufacturer information about vehicles so they can provide the highest quality services to car owners.”

Evans also said that the RMI wants the control vehicle makers have over franchised dealers to be relaxed so that UK dealers can sell any make of car or truck they want from one showroom.

The RMI maintains that if this is achieved, the process of buying and running a car for consumers will become increasingly flexible, Autowired said.

According to Evans, this greater freedom for his members would reduce vehicle and servicing prices and give consumers a reliable, efficient, integrated sales and servicing network that unites franchised car dealers, independent service and repair outlets as well as allowing scope for internet-based retailers.

According to Autowired, the RMI wants the contract termination notice period given by manufacturers to dealers to be extended to five years but a retailer would have to give a distributor just two years’ notice.

This would add greater security to dealer/manufacturer relationship, the RMI argued.

Dealers also want the right to sell their businesses to whomever they choose and to be free to choose their own finance, insurance and warranty suppliers, Autowired said.

The RMI also claims that UK dealers cannot earn a sensible return on the substantial investments required by manufacturers and wants “greater fairness and equity of franchised standards” autowired said.

Other RMI gripes included the high cost of setting up dealerships in the UK. The trade association also included the right of dealers to be free to promote their own brand, irrespective of franchise, in their requests to EU officials.