News item

Former Trading Standards Institute chief bolsters

Motor Codes, the Trading Standards-backed garage scheme, has reinforced its position at the heart of the government’s new consumer landscape with the appointment of Ron Gainsford OBE to its board of directors.

The former chief executive of Trading Standards Institute takes up the position of non-executive director immediately, a decision ratified this week by the Motor Codes board.

Chris Mason, managing director, views the appointment as a significant move and one which paves the way for further strengthening regulatory relations:

“Motor Codes worked closely with Ron, throughout his tenure at the Trading Standards Institute, and his influence and expertise played no small role in shaping Motor Codes into the credible, effective consumer protection body that it has become.

“Ron joining us comes at an important time for self-regulation, with the Trading Standards Institute set to launch its custodianship of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, in succession to the Office of Fair Trading, to the public in June and we look forward to sharing in Ron’s expertise as the automotive industry enters this next phase of consumer protection.”

Ron Gainsford has worked alongside Motor Codes throughout its evolution, primarily as chair of its Independent Compliance Assessment Panel and is keen to contribute to the continued relevance of the code for car owners:

“Trading Standards Institute worked with the automotive industry for a number of years on implementing a consumer safety net in the new car sales and car servicing sectors.  It is a great achievement that there is now an extensive, approved mechanism in place that directs people to a trusted environment.  I look forward to helping Motor Codes strengthen its position as the approved garage code and in its continued, successful efforts in reducing consumer detriment.”

Motor Codes works at the heart of the government’s self-regulatory set-up, operating Trading Standards approved codes and formally partnering Citizens Advice in its call-handling operation, where calls relate to car purchases and warranty claims.

The extent and diversity of Motor Codes’ make-up is reflected in its subscription numbers, counting the vast majority of the UK’s franchised dealer network, alongside 1,850 independent garages.

More information on subscription benefits can be found at


Notes to editors:
Motor Codes managing director, Chris Mason, is available for interview by contacting David Rogers -

Motor Codes has subscribing garage owners in every region of the UK that can provide regional comment, advice and industry guidance as required. Arrange an interview by contacting

About Motor Codes:
Motor Codes operates Trading Standards approved codes of practice that raise and maintain standards in the service and repair and new car sectors.

The New Car Code covers over 99% of all new cars sold in the UK and regulates the advertising, sale, warranty, replacement parts availability and complaint handling processes for new cars.

The Service and Repair Code helps motorists to identify responsible garages, offers a structured complaints procedure and promotes good customer service. More than 7,500 garages in the UK subscribe to the code and millions of motorists benefit from its protection and standards, in addition to the free advice line and dispute resolution service.
The Code commits subscribing garages to:

  • honest and fair service
  • open and transparent pricing
  • completing work as agreed
  • invoices that match quoted prices
  • competent and conscientious staff
  • a straightforward and swift complaints procedure

It offers motorists:

  • a free motoring advice line (0800 692 0825)
  • an online garage finder tool, complete with real-time ratings, to locate the nearest reputable garage
  • free conciliation and low cost, legally binding arbitration

Further Motor Codes information is available at

Media Contacts:
David Rogers – Communications Manager
t: 020 7344 1607 m: 07809 522187

DATE: 17 May 2013