Maybe you already know it, but far too often motorists are not familiar with the EU legislation (EU no. 461/210) regarding the automotive aftermarket.
In short, the EU has legislated, thus ensuring free competition, covering trade in auto spare parts and maintenance/repair of vehicles with more than three wheels. (ie cars, vans and heavy vehicles). The law regulates what car manufacturers may and may not do in relation to European competition law and thereby making sure that your interest as a car owner is the best possible.
The repair market for cars is divided in the authorized (franchises) and the free aftermarket. For you as a car owner, it is important to know:
The car makers cannot make their guarantees conditional on repairs and service done in their brand workshops or with the use of their brand of spare parts.
According to these new rules, car owners have the right to use any workshop of their choice for any non-warranty work - both under the statutory warranty period and during any extended warranty period.
The consumer will never be disadvantaged by this free choice. Every trader has a product liability and workshops can be held liable for damage done to a vehicle caused by careless work or use of defective parts.