Getting help from a motor trade association

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

If you’ve got a problem with your car, for example a fault or a bad repair, the first step is to speak to the garage or dealership responsible. If you can’t get it sorted out with them directly, a trade association could help as long as the garage or dealership is a member.

A trade association will have both:

  • a code of practice that the garage or dealership has to stick to, or they’ll cancel their membership

  • a conciliation or arbitration service - these act as a go-between to help you and the garage or dealership to sort the problem out

Find out if your garage or dealership is a member of a trade association

To find out you could:

  • ask them directly

  • see if they have a trade association logo on their paperwork or in an office window

  • contact the trade associations and ask them if the garage or dealership is a member - most will have a search facility on their website

Trade associations’ contact details

Motor Ombudsman


Telephone: 0345 241 3008 (option 1)

Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

Retail Motor Industry Federation


Telephone: 0845 305 4230


Motor Cycle Industry Association


Telephone: 02476 408000


Scotland Motor Trade Association


Telephone: 0131 331 5510

If they’re a member

If the garage or dealership is a member, contact the trade association and explain your situation. They should be able to explain their code of practice and what you can do about your problem. 

Further help

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 if you need more help - a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone. You can also use an online form.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, contact Consumerline.

Help us improve our website

Take 3 minutes to tell us if you found what you needed on our website. Your feedback will help us give millions of people the information they need.