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What are Codes of Practice?


In unregulated sectors such as the motor industry, Codes of Practice and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) are vital mechanisms to help protect consumers and improve standards businesses operate to.


Codes of Practice are a set of comprehensive guidelines or clauses, which businesses commit to abide by. They range from the use of clear and accurate advertising, to not carrying work on a customer’s vehicle that has not been agreed.


Thousands of businesses, including vehicle manufacturers, warranty product providers, franchised dealers and independent garages, are accredited to one or more of The Motor Ombudsman’s four Codes of Practice. The accreditation of a business to The Motor Ombudsman’s Codes of Practice is entirely voluntary, which differs from a regulator, where it is mandatory for businesses to be signed up. Businesses that voluntarily choose to adhere to a Code of Practice are visibly demonstrating their commitment to high standards of work and service to their customers.


The Motor Ombudsman is the only body that has four Codes of Practice approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), which drive even higher standards of work and service, and provide consumers with added protection, peace of mind and trust during the vehicle purchase and ownership experience.


When looking at a dispute brought to The Motor Ombudsman, an adjudicator or ombudsman will refer to the Codes to see if there has been a breach of one or more of these clauses, alongside relevant consumer legislation. This is so as to determine the appropriate outcome, and award where applicable.

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