Media Release

Huge Increase in the Cost of Car Repair in Rural and Regional Communities


Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association

The cost of servicing cars in Australia and the right for consumers to have the freedom of who they choose to service their cars, is set to hit the election trail in country and regional Australia.

The campaign highlights the impact on fragile rural economies and their communities by the restriction of data by car manufacturers to independent car repairers. 

 Stuart Charity Executive Director

Stuart Charity, Executive Director of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) said, there is a network of some 25,000 independent car repairers throughout Australia, with many country and regional repairers providing employment and local service to their community facing a daily 'Data Lockout' by car manufacturers.

"Currently there is no guarantee that tens of thousands of independent mechanics in the automotive repair and servicing industry across the nation, not aligned to dealerships, can access basic information from manufacturers on behalf of 13.1 million Australian car owners.

"We are having instances reported that car manufacturers will not even provide basic information on the blend of oil for an oil change, or provide the code to reset the cars' computer after replacing a battery, forcing the owner to pay for it to be flatbed towed to a dealership in another town.

"This 'Data Lockout' means car owners in country and regional Australia can be forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to a dwindling number of manufacturer aligned dealerships just to get their cars serviced or repaired through a deliberate 'Information Lock Out' which appears to be increasingly built into vehicles."

Mr Charity says every time this occurs it drains money out of smaller country towns and regional areas, which often already have fragile economies and is directly against the Federal Government's campaign for small business to shop locally.

"At the heart of the matter is the urgent need for commitment by the Federal Government to establish a National Automotive Repair and Servicing Portal to protect the integrity, safety, and training and cost control of car repair and servicing in Australia.

"This means, through an arrangement similar to that in the United States, all manufacturers of cars being sold in Australia, would be required to participate in the National Automotive Repair and Servicing Portal so that repairers can access the information online from their workshops anywhere in Australia saving time and money.

These same manufacturers are already actively participating in the USA Automotive Repair and Servicing Portal. The question for all political parties is why Australia has not moved to the same innovative solution, which would basically be self funding and benefit the entire community.

"This issue is not new and has been raised at Federal Government level for a number of years and is now the responsibility for the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business".

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, AAAA - Mobile: 0417 329 201