The new ‘right to repair’ rules will now see all manufactures legally required to make spare parts available to people that buy electrical appliances within two years of all model launches, and then for between seven and ten years after the model is discontinued depending on the type of product. The aim is to extend the lifespan of products and also it will help benefit the environment. Consumers have been complaining about the quality of white goods for many decades that they don’t last long enough and cannot be repaired cheaply at home, in some instances a new appliance will be better value than repairing the old appliance but now that can be your choice to make. Crucially it means consumers will now have more choice and options towards a cheaper option to repair instead of forking out thousands of pounds for a new appliance.
At first the rules will only apply to companies that are producing dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, washer-dryers, televisions, fridges, freezers and ‘other electronic displays’ for home use. Tablets, laptops and smartphones are excluded from this latter category. For appliances that are used by businesses the rules will also cover electric motors, vending machines, retail fridges, retail freezers, power transformers, welding equipment and light sources. In the coming years more products may be added to the lists.
All manufacturers will have to make sure that the appliances they sell will have to last for up to ten years and if they stop working or have a fault within the ten years you have a ‘right to repair’. The products will not need to be under warranty for customers to access spare parts and repair information. However, in some cases parts will only be made available to tradespeople who are qualified to give the repair services for health and safety concerns. You will still need to be within warranty or guarantee to get the repairs for free of charge, those who are out of the warranty or guarantee period will most likely have to pay a professional or the manufacturer itself to fix the appliance.
The Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) claims that the UK ‘right to repair’ package could extend the lifespan of products by up to ten years and save the average household £75 per year in repair, replacement and energy bill costs when compounded by new energy efficiency rules for appliances.
Business and Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The tougher standards will ensure more of our electrical goods can be fixed rather than have to be thrown away when they stop working, putting more money back in the pockets of consumers.”