By Mark Stillman
Two out of three owners of new cars are taking them to independent garages for servicing, repairs and MOTs, according to a new poll.
Trust My Garage's survey found a direct link between the amount of new vehicles on the road and the number of drivers turning to an independent garage rather than a main dealership.
Over two in three - 67 per cent - drivers now take their latest pride and joy to an independent garage instead of a dealer, the countrywide independent garage scheme's poll showed.
Reasons for this switch include cheaper costs, a more personal service and the wish to help back local firms, the organisation said.
Less than half of drivers take car to main dealer garage
Only 31 per cent of drivers said that they take their motor to a main dealer garage.
However, three per cent claimed they do not actually know whether their garage is independent or part of a bigger franchise.
European Block Exemption Regulations mean that motorists are no longer forced to visit a main dealer garage with their new vehicle.
The rules state that drivers can now have their car serviced, maintained and repaired at a garage of their choice without disallowing the warranty.
'Thousands of quality independent garages'
Trust My Garage's Terry Gibson said: "There are thousands of quality independent garages that are perfectly competent to service newly manufactured cars.
"They have full access to manufacturer information and operate equipment and tools that can analyse faults on your vehicle.
"With quality parts and trained staff, independent garages are able to offer you safe and clean mobility throughout the entire life cycle of your car."
Trust My Garage undertook a straw poll of 100 drivers across the UK.