A new Motor Ombudsman has launched to provide consumers with peace of mind and to help resolve garage disputes.

To coincide with the launch, the Motor Ombudsman warned that nearly half of the nation’s drivers (43 per cent) put their safety at risk along with the safety of other road users by avoiding taking their car to a garage despite suspecting a fault.

Research of 1,000 UK drivers found that the major barriers to seeking professional garage advice were “not being able to explain what’s wrong with their car” (35 per cent) and “feeling intimidated by the garage” (32 per cent). Also, 38 per cent of motorists have skipped having their car serviced, with the biggest concern a fear of overcharging (36 per cent).

The research also found that 57 per cent of drivers who had experienced an unresolved dispute with their garage did not know where to turn to for help resolving the issue.

The new Motor Ombudsman is the first ombudsman specifically for the automotive sector built on a track record of resolving more than 99 per cent of disputes for almost a decade under the Motor Codes name.

The Motor Ombudsman is responsible for providing an impartial service between consumers and its 7,500 accredited businesses to resolve motoring-related disagreements outside of the courtroom.

Jodie Kidd, the spokesperson for the launch of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “I definitely understand that not knowing too much about cars can put people off taking their car to the garage – no one wants to draw attention to their ignorance! Another big worry is the cost associated with the work that needs to be done, meaning we’re skipping services. Having a reliable guide to help find a reputable garage with credible professionals fills us with confidence and allows us to address any potential issues. In the rare event of a dispute, The Motor Ombudsman can provide a free of charge un-biased service ensuring peace of mind and a stress free experience.”

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, added: “Our ultimate aim is to give consumers peace of mind, ease relations between garages and motorists and find the fairest solution for both parties should a dispute arise. All our accredited garages comply with our comprehensive Trading Standards-approved Codes of Practice and our service is completely free for the public.”