“While vehicle manufacturers are meeting their obligations for technical information provision, they are not making access easy. It is time for them to stop prevaricating and fulfil their responsibilities,” Matthew Carrington, chief executive of the Retail Motor Industry Federation told the government’s trade and industry select committee inquiry into the UK automotive industry.

The new block exemption regulation allows technical information be made available at a cost to all retail motor sector businesses that have a need for it. Despite this, businesses are finding that access to information varies greatly depending on manufacturer.

Carrington added: “Getting technical information from vehicle manufacturers is often not as simple as we would like.

“What we are seeing is that some manufacturers are more willing to provide technical information than others. Those that are interested in building links with businesses and perhaps breaking into new markets are making the procedure clear, and are keeping costs down as much as possible. Conversely, others have made the route difficult, and are keeping costs high.

“There are opportunities for the manufacturers here, so there is no need for them to be so evasive. What is needed now is openness and co-operation.”

A lack of commonality in the terms used by manufacturers is also causing problems: “At present vehicle manufacturers often use different terms to describe what will be effectively the same part. Unless some kind of agreement on general terms for components can be reached, businesses that source information from several manufacturers will be forced to navigate a muddle of conflicting terminology.”

Carrington added that all working in the retail motor sector need to work together on a co-ordinated basis to solve this problem. “It is imperative that vehicle manufacturers, stakeholders, and government work with us to find a practical solution,” he said.