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Holding Icon Putting the Brakes on Spending

Putting the Brakes on Spending

November 2011

Leading garage network Halfords Autocentres is ripping up the rule book to offer motorists a better deal - beginning with a unique lifetime replacement pledge on brakes that could save the average car owner in the region of £1,600* over their driving lifetime.

From today, every customer purchasing new brake pads or shoes from one of its 247 Halfords Autocentres nationwide will receive a lifetime Brakes4life commitment that makes sure they never have to pay to replace those parts again.

This market leading pledge differs to every other parts 'guarantee' offered by other garages in that it applies to any car that a customer goes on to own - and Halfords Autocentres has even worked with Plain English Campaign to make sure that its bare minimum terms and conditions are easily understood.

Brakes4life has been launched to help reduce the cost of motoring for the UK's 33 million car owners. Brake pads and shoes are amongst the most frequently replaced components on a car and Halfords Autocentres data indicates that it's a job often needed at the time of a service.

Around one in five of the 650,000 cars it sees each year for a routine service requires brake pads or shoes**, meaning the motorists can be faced with an additional bill they perhaps weren't anticipating at a time when they are already spending on their car.

Halfords Autocentres chief executive Bill Duffy said: "Keeping the brakes in good condition is crucial to the safety of any vehicle and its passengers and not something that should be scrimped on. But we're not blind to the financial situation of many of our customers and know that sometimes a choice has to be made.

"Brakes4life has been launched with this in mind and we genuinely think it's an innovation for our industry and offers a positive step towards encouraging more drivers to take care of their cars - and themselves - without having to worry about the financial implications.

"Throughout our business we are working hard to raise the bar for the car maintenance sector as a whole. To do that we know we need to challenge the norms and develop products such as Brakes4life that offer the motorist a better deal without the catches.'

With Brakes4life, a young motorist changing the pads or shoes on his or her car and going on to cover an average number of miles throughout his driving life could see benefits in the region of 1,600 worth of free parts and labour at today's prices.

Brakes4life has won the approval of Plain English Campaign, the group that works tirelessly to untangle complicated offers and language and confusing terms and conditions.

Plain English Campaign has praised Halfords Autocentres for bringing a product to market that offers customers a transparent and easy to understand benefit, and Halfords Autocentres chief executive Bill Duffy hopes competitors will follow suit.

He continues: "We have worked tirelessly to avoid a raft of confusing terms and conditions to make it a very straightforward promise and we're proud that it is the only product in our market to have been given a Crystal Mark, the internationally recognised symbol of clarity.

"One of the frustrations of working in our sector is that there is some negative baggage around and customers are sceptical of offers and advice because other operators have made them extremely limited with numerous exclusions. We are trying to rebuild customers' confidence and live up to our 'That's Helpful' ethos.'

Marie Clair from Plain English Campaign is delighted that the company is taking customer communications so seriously.

She said: "Halfords Autocentres recently worked with us to launch a plain speaking guide for garages after conducting research that showed how many motorists don't understand or trust what they are being told because of the jargon.

"Taking a plain English approach with products like this is a fantastic step that tackles the fog of 'small print' with total transparency. If other follow Halfords' lead then consumers will feel a lot more confident in choosing which garage or services are best for their needs.'

Brakes4life is now available at Halfords Autocentres. Book a free Brakes4Life check online».