Cutting cars under warranty and independent garages: can you?

Cutting cars under warranty and independent garages: can you?

What is a car coupon?

We have already discussed what a car coupon is and what interventions and checks are usually included. We would like to remind you that the car coupon is an ordinary car maintenance operation in which many key parameters of the car are checked. In practice it is a real general check-up in which the car is analysed and an attempt is made to identify possible problems before they degenerate.

Good and regular maintenance is in fact the best way to prevent serious damage or problems to the car. In addition to safer driving, you also save a lot of money. The hundreds of euros spent on the coupon are actually nothing compared to the damage caused by the most common problems, such as a broken timing belt.

We should not confuse a car coupon with a car service. The latter is, in fact, a mandatory appointment every two years in which the State, through the authorised technical inspection centres, checks that the car is safe to drive on the road. In another article we also cover all the checks that are carried out during the car inspection.

Where can I make the coupon for the car?

Unlike the ministerial inspection, the coupon does not require a particular authorisation or qualification. In fact, this is one of the aspects that creates the most confusion in the driver's mind: where to take the car for the coupon?

For the car coupon the driver has a very wide choice. You can rely on the body shop of the dealership where the car was purchased, usually known as "authorized workshop". Alternatively, you can rely on the multi-brand workshops, those of the various national networks, or the simple workshop at the door.

Many are convinced that the couponing of the car can only be done by the authorized workshop, but this is completely untrue. Over the years, in fact, there have been several regulations that have liberalized the car coupon to ensure greater competition in the market and therefore more choice for the customer.

As we will soon see in order to avoid the loss of the car warranty, the couponing must be done following the specific directives of the manufacturer. This avoids damage to the car due to inexperience of the staff or improper maintenance practices.

What is the Monti Decree?

More than 18 years ago, EC Regulation 1400/2002, known as the Monti Decree, came into force at European level. This directive was and still is intended to stimulate free competition between independent garages and the parent company's network. The 24 month manufacturer's warranty remains valid regardless of where the driver chooses to have the coupon made. This is on condition that the mechanic makes the coupon in accordance with the manufacturer's official instructions and using factory-equivalent spare parts.

With the Monti Decree, motorists have more choice and can therefore go to garages which, by filling in the coupon among themselves, often offer a very advantageous price for the car coupon. In the same way, many small businesses can earn money with the maintenance work and get more customers.

In which cases can the car coupon lose the warranty?

Losing the car manufacturer's warranty can occur for various reasons that vary from brand to brand. When it comes to car coupons, loss of warranty can occur for two different reasons:

  • The coupon is not made according to the manufacturer's guidelines and/or using poor quality replacement parts. It is necessary to make sure that the mechanic makes the coupon correctly, otherwise, in case of problems the warranty may not be valid.
  • The coupon is not executed at all. Despite the fact that nowadays there are several systems to notify the expiration date of the coupon, many drivers forget about it and avoid making the coupon. If the car has a factory fault, the warranty may not cover the repair costs if the coupons are not executed on time.

How to coupon the car at independent garages without losing the car warranty?

To carry out car couponing with peace of mind and avoid losing the manufacturer's warranty, make sure that the mechanic follows the manufacturer's guidelines to the letter. This can be difficult and therefore we recommend that only reputable independent garages are used.

A more objective way of verifying that the work is done correctly and that the warranty is not lost is to ask for a quotation that includes all parts codes. This will ensure that the parts used are factory original or of equivalent quality.

Why is there confusion about where to coupon the car without losing the warranty?

Almost twenty years after the introduction of the Monti Decree there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to car couponing and the manufacturer's warranty. This is due to a number of factors, including a lack of car maintenance education of the modern motorist and a clear interest of the parent companies in keeping customers in their garages.

We should remember that most car manufacturers derive a large part of their turnover from car repairs through their network of authorised garages. The Monti Decree has caused an undeniable loss of customers who are now free to carry out the coupon at many more garages. Unfortunately, you still hear the dealer say that couponing done outside the official network results in loss of warranty.

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