Every time the government tweaks vehicle-related regulations, car owners steel themselves for another financial pinch.
But this time, we have some good news.
Beginning in 2018, car owners no longer need to worry about losing their warranties no matter which workshops they service their cars at. That means you get to shop around and use cheaper workshops, instead being tied to “authorised workshops” for fear of losing your warranty.
What were the previous restrictions?
It has been common practice for car dealers to offer warranties that require car owners to service or repair their cars only at “authorised workshops”.
These authorised workshops are usually operated by the dealers themselves.
And of course, these workshops, enjoying an unfair competitive advantage, tend to charge higher prices for their services and parts.
Using an unauthorised or independent workshop would mean voiding the warranty.
The new rules
Under the new rules, which were recently announced by the Competition Commission of Singapore, car dealers are no longer permitted to impose restrictions threatening to void the warranty if a vehicle is serviced at an independent workshop. The new rules will kick in by 31 Dec 2017.
It’s worth noting, however, that the warranty can be voided if the damage you’re trying to make a claim for under the warranty was caused by an independent workshop.
That means that while you should definitely be comparison shopping for a more cost-effective workshop, you still want to pay attention to the quality of the servicing and parts being delivered.
So don’t just drive to JB and get your car serviced at the first dodgy-looking workshop you come across.
What do Singaporeans need to take note of when going to any workshop?
So how do you ensure your workshop isn’t going to do something to screw up your car and void your warranty?
Looking for a reliable workshop can be tricky. Sadly, there are lot of crappy workshops that will put a short-term band-aid on your problem without solving it, or persuade you to needlessly change a whole lot of costly car parts.
The only long-term solution is to get recommendations from drivers you trust, and then to try several workshops until you find a good one.
Here are some things you can do to ensure the workshop doesn’t void your warranty:
1) Get the workshop to provide you with servicing records each time you bring your car in. If you need to make a warranty claim, you’ll be able to show that the problems were not caused by the workshop.
2) Collect recommendations from experienced drivers who know a thing or two about car servicing. Good workshops tend to be build a positive reputation amongst those in the know.
3) There’s no harm in taking your car to your closest neighbourhood workshop for routine matters like oil changes, but for anything major, go for a workshop with a reputation for honesty and quality work.
Are you going to use a new workshop when the lift on warranty restrictions kicks in? Tell us in the comments!