Support The 'Your Car, Your Choice' Campaign


A group which represents more than 40 independent car garages warned today that up to 200 local jobs could be at risk if insurance companies in Northern Ireland continue to drive accident jot consumers to garages which only they have chosen.

The Northern Ireland Body Alliance (NIBA) claims that thousands of drivers are being unwittingly directed to use the car garages insisted upon by the insurance companies because most are not aware that on EVERY occasion they can choose who they want to repair their car.

In a bid to make customers more aware of their right to choose their own local garage instead of one chosen by the insurance company, NIBA, which employs more than 200 specialist staff at location right across Northern Ireland., has launched a major campaign at Stormont called ‘Your Car, Your Choice’.

Sean Bradley, Chairman of NIBA, said: “People here quite rightly want their cars repaired through their insurance. But many don’t realise that they are not obliged to take their car to hear the insurance company tells them to. In fact, every consumer in every incident has the right to take their car to any garage they choose.

“Many drivers already have a good relationship with their local garage but they simply don’t know that they can still use their services – and many simply aren’t being told. We believe that every consumer has the right to choose, so it’s vital that the insurance companies who are often a first point of call inform them of the right to choose.”
As part of the campaign, NIBA has written to all 108 MLAs to make them aware of the issue and request their support in highlighting the campaign.

NIBA claims that by not telling consumers that they have a right to choose their own car repair garage, thousands of drivers are travelling longer distances to unfamiliar surroundings to get the work done – when it could have been easily and quickly repaired just down the road.

Sean added: “Independent car garages are important for consumer choice, for competition and for skilled local employment and if they are not supported, then jobs will most certainly be lost.

“Everyone has the right to choose where their car is repaired – let’s make sure everyone is aware.”


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