The aim of the Scheme is to encourage and promote the highest standards of fair, open and honest practices, thereby giving confidence to consumers and enhancing the business reputation of its members.
The Scheme is an initiative of City of York Council’s Public Protection Service.
The Scheme is open to vehicle sales and vehicle repair and servicing businesses that are located within the county of North Yorkshire (including the City of York) area which trade primarily with consumers.
Applicants will be required to prove they have been trading for a period of 6 months prior to application. Previous trading need not be in the North Yorkshire area as references will be sought from independent external sources.
Application for Membership
The Scheme will be administered by Trading Standards Officers within the Regulatory Support and Advice Service Team (The Administrator).
Applicants will be granted membership subject to the following:
- Receipt of a signed and dated Application Form (Appendix A)
- Payment of a Non-refundable Application Fee
- Passing an Initial Audit Inspection
- Payment of the Annual Fee
Member Commitments (General)
- Comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Approved Garage Scheme throughout the term of their membership
- Comply with both the ‘letter and spirit’ of the law in all matters and at all times
- Notify the Administrator as soon as practically possible and in any case no later than 21 days about the following matters:
- Changes to legal ownership of, or trading names used by the member.
- Changes to the management structure of the member’s business.
- Changes of address, telephone number or website.
- Change of the Member’s Nominated Contact Officer
- The existence of any newly acquired associated businesses.
- Changes to any Consumer Credit License(s) held by the Member.
- Any proposal to enter into Primary Authority partnership, or modification of any existing Primary Authority Partnership to include an Inspection Plan.
- Any other matter which may impact upon the accuracy of information provided to the public on the Approved Garage Scheme website.
- Any other matter which may impact upon the Member’s approach to compliance of the law (both criminal and civil) and to the Terms and Conditions of this Scheme.
- Ensure that a copy of the Terms and Conditions of the Approved Garage Scheme are available to consumers on request.
- Ensure that all staff are aware of the Scheme and are aware of the complaint handling procedure operated by the Member
- Ensure that they are able to respond to any communication from the Administrator to the Nominated Contact Officer within 3 working days of receipt
- Cooperate fully with any requests made by the Scheme’s Administrator and other Officers including requests for information
- Support the Scheme by promoting it to their customers
- Support the Scheme by sending representatives to attend all meetings (in exceptional circumstances apologies will be accepted)
- Support the Scheme by suggesting improvements and/or training requirements which may be to benefit of the Scheme’s membership in general
- Seek Feedback from customers including asking key questions (set by the Administrator) in a consistent way
Member Commitments (Specific)
- Seek Business and Advertise in accordance with the requirements of Appendix B
- Communicate with Consumers in accordance with the requirements of Appendix C
- Sell Vehicles in accordance with the requirements of Appendix D
- Service and Repair Vehicles in accordance with the requirements of Appendix E
- Deal with Complaints in accordance with the requirements of Appendix F
- Submit to and cooperate with the Disciplinary Procedure in Appendix G
Use of the Scheme's logo
Members are entitled to display the Scheme’s logo on websites, emails, documents, advertisements and any other promotional material.
Members are not permitted to use the logo in association with any linked or connected business that is itself not a member of the Scheme without the express written permission of the Scheme Administrator.
Logos must be removed from all material, premises and websites and communications within 28 days of membership lapsing or being terminated by either party.
Trading Standards' Commitment
The Administrator will:
- Promote the Scheme to consumers
- Maintain the Scheme’s website, ensure the accuracy of Member details, verify and moderate customer complaints and provide customer satisfaction feedback to members
- Provide a single point of contact though which general advice and more detailed legal advice can be obtained
- Respond to all enquiries within 3 working days
- Provide an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service to Members
- Organise training for Members of the Scheme
- Provide feedback and ‘a score’ following audit visits
A Member may terminate Membership of the Scheme by giving 28 days notice to the Administrator.
Suspension / Expulsion
Where complaints are received about a Member they will be fully investigated by the Administrator. Where there is evidence of sufficiently serious breaches of the law or the terms and conditions of the Scheme the Administrator may either suspend and/or terminate Membership of the Scheme.
The procedure and the appeal process is detailed in Appendix G.
Where a Membership is terminated for such a reason no refund shall be made in respect of any Membership Fee paid.
Fees and Terms of Payment
The following Fees are Payable:
Initial Application Fee £263.72 + VAT
(This is a charge for conducting an initial assessment of the eligibility of the applicant’s business and includes time to access and obtain historical records of complaints, warnings and other infringements, as well as the time taken conducting the audit of the trader’s premises)
Annual Membership Fee £805.74 + VAT
The Annual Membership Fee will be invoiced approximately 28 days prior to the renewal date.
All payments must be received within 28 days.