Birmingham mechanic Lee Cross is taking on the might of the big car dealerships with a new website promoting the services of independent garages across the UK.
The Sutton Coldfield dad-of-one set up www.mycarservicing.com just four months ago with business partner Jim Parkes and has already signed up the expertise of around 300 garages nationwide.
Drivers can log on and book their car in for a service at any of the registered garages, which are accredited by industry bodies such as the Good Garage Scheme or choose an inspection from engineers sent out by Mr Cross, or both.
“It’s going fantastic at the moment – we had just 25 customers in March but it’s at least doubled every month since then,” said the 38-year-old.
He’s hoping the website, based in Solihull and currently employing six staff, will lure motorists from dealerships to their local independent garages.
“Lots of people think going to an independent garage instead of a dealership could harm their warranty, but that’s just not true,” added Mr Cross, whose own Smethwick garage Paddock and Cross has been in business for more than 20 years.
"I’m trying to stick up for these smaller garages, but more importantly I’m trying to stick up for the public.”
Warranty conditions tying motorists to services with car dealerships were lifted in 2004 after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.