With reports of an increasing number of counterfeit car parts entering the supply chain, garages and mechanics must be more concerned than ever. This article will outline why motor traders must have a strong liability insurance policy in place to protect their operation.


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The Counterfeit Car Market In The UK

Counterfeit car parts are nothing new. The BBC reported what started as a £300 million industry in 1994 had become a £3 billion industry by 1999. In 2018, the size of the industry is difficult to comprehend. The European Union Intellectual Property Office estimated the counterfeit tyre and battery market to be over €2 billion, and that doesn’t cover the most commonly counterfeit parts.

So, why are so many counterfeit car parts in the supply chain? As new materials and technologies improve, criminal gangs have become more sophisticated. Even experienced mechanics can struggle to tell the difference between what’s genuine and counterfeit. This has led to counterfeit parts becoming a lucrative, globalised business.

The UK government is leading an effort to unite industry players and beyond to highlight the dangers counterfeit car parts pose to consumers. Some key names include Audi, BMW, Amazon, eBay, Motor Sports Association UK, UK Police and the Intellectual Property Office.

The Dangers Of The Counterfeit Car Parts Market

According to Illcittrade.com, a cross-government attempt to monitor the global black market, the most commonly counterfeit products in supply are filters, brake pads, lights, window wipers, wheel rims, tyres and airbags.

Clearly, parts such as brakes and lights, if not manufactured to the correct standards, pose a real threat to consumers and road safety. Lights can fail, and brakes can seize, leading to a fatal accident in no time. This is adding danger to Britain’s already over congested roads.

Double Check Your Liability Insurance Policy

Garages who fit counterpart products can be held liable in the event of serious injury or even death, even if they did not knowingly fit faulty products. Increasingly, consumers are now asking garages to fit their own ‘cheaper’ parts in a bid to save money. The Government recommends garages should be reluctant to fit them to protect themselves and their customer.

Motor traders should all have employers, public and product liability insurance policies. Employers liability covers claims for damages made by employees. Public liability will protect you against claims made for damages by the public, and product liability will protect you against claims made because of products you have fitted. This includes products resold by the manufacturer.

Failing to have insurance in place can be fatal. If a customer is injured or killed following work you have completed, even if you had no idea the parts installed were counterfeit, you could be liable for thousands, possibly millions of pounds in compensation. This could also mean criminal charges. Having a strong liability policy in place is the best way to protect yourself and your business.

Seek Advice!

We recommend you always check you have a strong policy in place to protect you against counterfeit car parts. If you would like more advice or start a new liability insurance policy, talk to 1st Choice Insurance. We’re motor trade insurance experts who are happy to help.

The article was orginally written for The Garage and MOT Magazine


Make Sure Your Policy Protects You!

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