Motor Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician (Light Vehicle)

Occupation overview

A motor vehicle technician services and repairs light vehicles such as cars and vans and works either in dealerships that focus on a particular manufacturer, or for an independent garage that deals with many different makes of vehicles.

Motor vehicle technicians work on all the systems found within the vehicle. The nature of the work ranges from replacing simple parts through to solving complex faults with the use of diagnostic methods and equipment. The day-to-day tasks faced by the technician are constantly changing, driven by the introduction of ever more complex technologies and diagnostic techniques. Today’s apprentice has to demonstrate expertise in the technical side of their role. They must have strong problem-solving skills and a good grasp of the theoretical and practical aspects of a vehicle’s systems. They must be able to work independently but also operate as an effective team member, understand how their work shop and the dealership/garage functions from a commercial perspective, have good customer handling skills and identify ways in which they can work more efficiently. The growing complexity of today’s vehicles, and the pressure to deliver a high-quality customer experience, requires the retail automotive sector to attract and train high calibre individuals and this is reflected in the elements of the Standard described below.


On successful completion of the programme, the apprentice will have the following capabilities:

Knowledge and understanding of:

• The fundamentals of vehicle technologies e.g. vehicle systems such as chassis, engine, transmission, electrical, air conditioning, high voltage vehicles, etc.

• The types, and associated characteristics, of light vehicles e.g. front- or rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, etc.

• Diagnostic principles and logical problem-solving techniques.

• Emerging automotive technologies and the impact they will have on the knowledge and skills technicians will require in the future.

The competency to achieve the following in the workplace:

• Carry out the foundation tasks common to all procedures e.g. removing and replacing bolts, screws and clips, replacing seals, extracting damaged fasteners, cutting, drilling, filing, using fabrication skills etc.

• Contribute to the maintenance of a safe and efficient workshop and adhere to the dealership/garage’s business processes (e.g. environmental awareness, servicing a vehicle, record keeping, customer contact) and standard workshop operations.

• Access specific information e.g. vehicle repair information, wiring diagrams, maintenance tables, technical production information and apply appropriately.

• Use diagnostic, mechanical and electrical measuring equipment.

• Inspect and prepare a vehicle to the required quality standard for handover to the customer e.g. following a service, complex repair, pre-delivery inspection etc.

• Service and maintain a vehicle without supervision.

• Remove repair/replace components in line with manufacturer’s standards.

• Investigate symptoms of vehicle fault(s) and identify the likely underlying causes.

•Apply advanced diagnostic principles and logical problem-solving techniques, supported by diagnostic tools and testing regimes, to establish electrical, mechanical and electronic faults.

• Use current flow diagrams and electrical test equipment to carry out standard diagnostic and repair procedures.

Entry Requirements 

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for the applicant. It is recommended during the selection process that candidates demonstrate the following qualities: Interested in the way vehicles operate and the potential to research, analyse and solve problems; organised, methodical and pays attention to detail; able to work in a team and to communicate well both orally and in writing; cares about delivering excellent service – both internally and externally to colleagues and customers; able to demonstrate general analytical and mechanical skills. It is also recommended that the candidate can demonstrate a capacity for mechanical reasoning and good spatial awareness, Employers who recruit candidates without English and Maths at GCSE Grade C (or Functional Skills Level 2) or above must ensure that the candidate achieves this level before the Apprenticeship Standard can be awarded to the individual.


It is expected that it will typically take three years for the apprentice to attain the required level of competence in the workplace although it may be less if the individual already has significant training and practical experience. The formal knowledge and skill elements could be completed in less than three years if the apprentice had acquired previous experience or training

Professional Qualifications / Recognition

Apprentices are involved in the servicing, maintenance and leak testing of equipment that contains refrigerants. Therefore; before the Standard is met, all apprentices must hold a qualification that meets the EU’s 2014 F-gas regulation. Acceptable qualifications required to work on mobile air conditioners that contain F gas are listed here. On successful completion of the Apprenticeship, the apprentice will receive the apprentice Standard.

Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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