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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

IAAF Statement on 4 July Election

Date: Thursday 23 May 2024

The election on 4 July is an opportunity for us all in the trade to raise awareness of our independence – the independent aftermarket’s right to repair and the consumer’s right to choose where they take their vehicle for service and repair.

The IAAF welcomes the opportunity to engage with all political parties and MPs.

As future representatives of the English Parliament, they will play a crucial role in shaping policies that impact various sectors, including the automotive industry.

The UK automotive aftermarket and mobility services sector stand as pillars within the wider automotive industry, providing indispensable repair, maintenance, and replacement parts or services that ensure the safety, reliability and sustainability of the UK’s vehicle parc and provide competitive choices to vehicle owners and operators for the service and repair of their vehicles.

This dynamic sector includes half a million jobs, generating some £20bn+ to the UK economy and providing over 75% of the vehicle repair volume in independent workshops, predominantly within SMEs, and serving as a catalyst for economic activity and social mobility.

As the automotive landscape undergoes profound transformations, embracing sustainability initiatives and adapting to emerging technologies, both challenges and opportunities are presented.

Our concerns centre around the restrictions that this new automotive landscape creates on the abilities of the UK’s independent aftermarket to continue to provide competitive consumer choices, as vehicle manufacturers increasingly use new technologies to distort the access to, and the use of, vehicle data and information.

The rise of electrification, software-defined vehicles, and remote access to vehicle generated data and information heralds a new era of mobility, demanding innovative solutions and new business models. It is imperative that we continue to ensure effective competition within the aftermarket sector, as well as prioritising sustainability initiatives, such as the use of remanufactured parts and eco-friendly practices, to reduce environmental impact and foster a more sustainable road mobility future.

The critical role of the UK’s independent multiband automotive aftermarket sector is recognised as one of the largest and most diverse in Europe, supported by specific legislation to ensure effective competition in aftersales services. However, looking ahead to the next five years, 'smart regulation' will be essential to secure the sector's ability to compete, particularly concerning access to critical vehicle data and information.

As we enter the next Parliamentary term, we strongly advocate for collaborative efforts between policymakers and industry stakeholders to ensure the future of a competitive automotive aftermarket. Prioritising smart regulation, embracing technological advancements, and promoting sustainability will all be pivotal in navigating the evolving landscape and securing a vibrant automotive aftermarket for years to come, benefiting consumers and communities alike.