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Index watch: Solutions to reduce paperwork

Despite continued reports on the downfall of the UK motor manufacturing, the AM/HPI Litmus test reports that small but important indicators of increased dealer confidence are beginning to emerge.

This appears particularly in the used car arena, with nearly 50% anticipating an increase in used car sales in the next three months.

However, at a time when you are probably reviewing, if not scrutinizing, your business processes to ensure profit opportunities are being maximized, it was surprising to learn from the latest survey that many of you continue to be over-burdened with paperwork. Furthermore, you continue to experience a delay in obtaining insurance cover notes, which is having an impact on the speedy conclusion of sales.

Both issues can be addressed by offering customers an introductory free insurance offer. Take, for example, Driveaway from Norwich Union. This seven-day insurance product enables customers to drive away their new car on the same day if they wish. It takes one phone call to organize and the cover note is emailed to you within the hour. Such solutions ease admin pressures and remove dependency on customers or insurers to provide proof of cover.

As the used car market takes centre stage, it is vital that dealers look at ways to improve business proficiency and protect themselves against the opportunist fraudster. With one in three vehicles hitting the HPI registers, dealers must be sure that the vehicles they are buying or exchanging are of good title.

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