At dotsure.co.za, we believe in full transparency and simple, straightforward communication – that’s how we create and maintain our strong fanbase!

It’s also why we aim to keep you up to date with everything you need to know about emerging road and motor laws. Case in point, the Competition Commission has recently made a major announcement regarding service and warranty plans. Out of the loop? Read on to find out how the new regulations will affect South African drivers in 2021.

Warranty voids avoided

From 1 July 2021, South African car owners no longer need to stress about inadvertently voiding their warranties. Before the Commission unveiled its new set of guidelines in December 2020, vehicle owners may not have been aware that they had to use their car manufacturer’s approved service centres, repair shops, and original parts in motor and service plans. Failure to do so, for instance by using an independent repair service, would typically result in losing your warranty.

Now, car owners are free to seek repairs, maintenance, or parts wherever they choose – with no risk to their warranties.

Service plans unbundled

Another win for drivers is the unbundling of maintenance and service plans from the purchase price of the car. This will allow buyers to choose their own plan beforehand – and to be fully aware of costs and any value-added products. This transparency of information will allow customers to make better informed decisions about their car purchase, and to choose plans tailored to their budgets and lifestyles.

Original vs non-original parts

Previously, many car manufacturers stipulated the use of original parts in replacements, or parts bearing the manufacturer’s branding. Car owners were prohibited from using non-original parts (the same, but without the branding) that are often cheaper, at the of risk voiding the warranty.

Now, customers can fit either original or non-original parts during their in-warranty period. However, it is important to note that car manufacturers may still restrict replacements linked with the car’s security system.

Fair allocation of repairers

Some insurers appeared to allocate repair work to only a few service providers, with the number of accredited repairers limited within specific areas.

The Commission has now ruled insurers must enact measures to promote the fair allocation of work to repairers, with a preference for firms owned by historically disadvantaged individuals.

According to Dominique Arteiro, Director of the law firm Werksmans, the guidelines fall within its jurisdiction in terms of the Competition Act:

“Businesses should, therefore, carefully consider the implications of the measures proposed by the Commission in the Automotive Guidelines on their franchise and dealer arrangements, and on their different services and product offerings pertaining to motor vehicle servicing, repair and/or maintenance.”

You can read the full Commission guidelines here.