Unipart Automotive has thrown its considerable weight behind a nationwide scheme that encourages car buyers to have used vehicles thoroughly checked before handing over their cash.
It also advocates that private sellers should have their cars inspected through the initiative before putting them up for sale to avoid potential customers seeking a discount after they have had the car assessed.
The aftermarket giant is backing the independent Used Car Checks programme by offering the service at all of its fully accredited Car Care Centres. That means full coverage across the UK at almost 1,000 independent garages that make up the Unipart Car Car Centres network.
Drivers pay £50 for technicians to carry out more than 100 checks and to have the vehicle road tested. The team behind Used Car Checks says the scheme offers independent garages a shop window to advertise high standards of service and repair.
By creating a good impression first time round, businesses in the scheme will be able to build customer retention and create opportunities for revenue and profit growth. But it faces strong competition from the UK's two leading, and very high profile, motoring organisations – the AA and the RAC.
Research for Auction Automotive – founder of the Used Car Checks programme – suggests that up to 59% of used cars could be faulty, costing drivers up to £500 to put them right. Body repair, interior, engine, tyres, brakes and suspension faults are the most common problems found on used cars.
The scheme will help reassure drivers about the quality of service they are receiving, says Phil Pearson, customer programmes manager for Unipart Automotive. “Unipart is pleased to approve an assessment programme that provides a high level of confidence and is conducted through a network of highly professional skilled independent garages,” he says.
James Ruppert, of Used Car Checks, says that on average Unipart Centres identify £400 worth of faults on a vehicle, making assessments a pre-purchase essential.
“Conversely, Used Car Check is an added value marketing tool for sellers to reassure them they can command the price they are seeking,” he adds. “This is also a strong business proposition for accredited independent garages.”