Halfords Autocentres Fights for Fair Deal on Behalf of Motorists

Halfords Autocentres today releases a statement asking the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) not to stand in the way of consumer choice. The demand follows an SMMT complaint about a promotion on Halfords’ website which highlighted the significant savings motorists can make on car servicing at Halfords over more expensive franchised dealerships.

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Halfords has refused to be silenced and has immediately renewed its commitment to driving down the cost of servicing...highlighting savings of up to 40%

(PRWEB UK) 13 November 2012

Halfords Autocentres today realeases a statement asking the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) not to stand in the way of consumer choice. The demand follows an SMMT complaint about a promotion on Halfords’ website which highlighted the significant savings motorists can make on car servicing at Halfords over more expensive franchised dealerships.

The SMMT complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority concerned an advertisement on http://www.halfordsautocentres.com and threatened to prevent consumers saving substantial sums of money.

Halfords Autocentres Chief Executive Bill Duffy explains: “Under European law, independent aftermarket providers like us - who maintain and repair vehicles in line with the manufacturer’s standards - can save motorists hundreds of pounds in some cases whilst preserving their existing warranty.

“This is clearly all the more important given the current financial climate, rising fuel costs and insurance premiums. So we are disappointed that the SMMT resorted to using the ASA as a referee in a battle between the interests of franchised dealers and the quality independent aftermarket, a dispute that will result in only one real loser - the motorist.”

Halfords Autocentres has made several concessions as a result of the SMMT challenge – at each stage clarifying the source of its data and re-phrasing the text on its website in order to ensure clarity and keep promoting the message to customers. Nevertheless today the ASA upheld the SMMT’s complaint.

However, in its role as the ‘the friend of the motorist’ Halfords has refused to be silenced and has immediately renewed its commitment to driving down the cost of servicing with a fresh advertisement highlighting savings of up to 40% over generally more expensive main dealers – rising to 60% if customers take advantage of a current online promotional offer.

Bill Duffy added: “We also have evidence that shows a worrying trend towards drivers delaying essential car maintenance in order to save money – so clearly any opportunity to cut costs without cutting corners should be encouraged.

“Our independent research identifies just how much motorists are having to pay more to use manufacturer approved dealer franchises whose charges are higher in a large proportion of cases.”

Halfords Autocentres use the latest diagnostics equipment and employ ATA accredited and trained technicians capable of servicing any make and model of car. In addition, its network of 267 garages across the UK offer a price match guarantee that will match any price quoted locally like-for-like as well as offering peace of mind in the form of a minimum guarantee of 12 months or 12,000 miles on work carried out.

Ends

Media contacts:

Halfords Press Office
0207 025 6658 / halfordsteam(at)redconsultancy(dot)com

About Halfords Group plc

The Group is the UK's leading retailer of automotive and leisure products and through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operator. Halfords customers shop at 467 stores* in the UK and Republic of Ireland and at halfords.com for collection at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from 260 sites* nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices.

Halfords employs approximately 12,000 staff and sells around 10,000 different product lines in stores, increasing to around 16,000 lines at Halfords.com. The product offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycles, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes, outdoor leisure and camping equipment. Halfords own brands include the in-store Bikehut department, for cycles and cycling accessories, Apollo and Carrera cycles and exclusive UK distribution rights of the premium ranged Boardman cycles and accessories. In outdoor leisure, we sell a premium range of camping equipment, branded URBAN Escape. Halfords offers expert advice and a fitting service called "wefit" for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a "werepair" service for cycles.


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