Vehicle owners will now be free to get their cars repaired at any garage without fearing cancellation of warranty.

The Anti-Trade Monopolies and Market Competition Protection Committee announced yesterday that several car dealers have started complying with its recent notification about vehicle warranties. In a notification issued in June this year, the committee, working under the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, had instructed agencies not to put the condition to buyers that warranty will cease for cars repaired at undesignated garages or service centres during the warranty period. Earlier, customers were forced to get their vehicles repaired at designated garages to avail of the warranty.

Jaidah Automotive for Chevrolet, Mannai Automotive for Cadillac, Domasco for Honda and Volvo, Al Mana Motors for Ford and Lincoln, Teyser for Suzuki, Taleb Trading for Daihatsu and Ibin Ajayn for Skoda have started complying with the new rule, said the committee. Other dealers have sought time to conform to the new instructions as they are in talks with their car manufacturers.

The notification aims to break the monopoly of dealers and encourage competitiveness in the local market. Article 4 of Law No 19 of 2006 bars monopolistic trade practices in Qatar and stipulates a fine of up to QR5m on violators.

The ministry had earlier noticed that terms and conditions of warranty for new cars sold were different in Arabic booklets from those in English. It had asked automobile agents to review those terms and conditions of the warranty they provide to customers and change the warranty and service record booklets accordingly.