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Introduction to Motor Vehicle Repair (MVR)

Mechanic checking under car bonnet

MVR and associated industries cover activities such as the maintenance and repair (including tyre, exhaust, windscreen etc replacement); body repair, refinishing and valeting; MOT testing; and the roadside recovery of motor vehicles. Whilst most of these activities are carried out at MVR garages and 'Fast fit' centres, they are also undertaken at customers'; premises, both commercial and domestic, and at the roadside. The information within this MVR site is split between activities that are:

You can also use the drop down menus on the left hand side to see the topics contained in the various pages. Case studies have been added to the various topic pages to give examples of MVR specific incidents.

Motor vehicle can mean anything from a normal car, a motorcycle, bus, coach, light goods van, commercial vehicles (eg HGV's) through to construction and quarry vehicles. MVR type activities do not only occur in what we commonly understand as a 'garage' and can be found in virtually any industry that operates any transport as part of its activities. The principles of the advice in this MVR site apply across all industries regardless of what the main activity may be (eg a farmer changing a tyre/wheel on a tractor on a farm should still follow the advice).

Enforcement of health and safety law in MVR is split between HSE and Local Authorities (LA's). In general terms, HSE enforce at bodyshops and mechanical repair/servicing premises, during vehicle recovery activities, and during any mobile MVR work eg at domestic premises or at the roadside. LA's enforce at fast fit centres (tyre and exhaust centres), valeting premises and where MVR is part of the sale of motor vehicles and parts. However, the boundaries between the different types of outlet has become blurred as enterprises take on a wider range of activities in an increasingly competitive market.

Where HSE are the enforcing authority and an Inspector carries out any visit to inspect or investigate work activities (including at the roadside), then a cost may be recovered from the employer (dutyholder) where serious non-compliance with health and safety law is identified. This cost recovery scheme (known as Fee For Intervention - FFI) was introduced on 1st October 2012.

FFI does not currently apply to LA's and so if you are inspected by your Environmental Health Department, you will not be charged.

HSE's contact with the industry is through the MVR Health and Safety Forum which was set up in June 1999 to co-ordinate the interests and activities of all those involved with health and safety in the industry.

Updated 2013-02-08