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RAC launches enhanced warranty package to give independent dealers 'competitive edge'

The RAC has launched an enhanced, bundled warranty package designed to give independent used car dealers a competitive edge in a market place where lack of good quality low age stock is seeing franchised dealers increasingly compete against them in selling cars beyond three years old.

It will also compete with manufacturer-approved used car schemes.

The programme is called RAC BuySure and is designed to exploit consumer awareness in the motoring organisation’s name and give dealers taking part greater marketing power.

For the first time the RAC will promote ‘recommended’ retailers - those selling all their used cars with the BuySure cover – on its website through a dealer locator as well as in marketing material to its 7 million members (including affiliates) and 1m unique users each month on rac.co.uk, a quarter of who are said to be looking to purchase a car.

The RAC BuySure package has four elements:

1. An 80-point RAC approved preparation standard completed on every vehicle as part of a scheme created and audited by the RAC
2. A minimum three months’ RAC Warranty cover
3. Three months' complimentary RAC Roadside breakdown cover
4. RAC accident assistance.

There is no joining fee. The cost of the scheme is put at less than £100 per car sold.

The BuySure package is “given away” to the customer as part of the windscreen price.

Upsell opportunities would typically come in extending the warranty agreement.

Independent dealers are expected to be early, rapid adopters of the scheme. The franchised sector is still seen as an opportunity to the RAC.

“It would be the same as McDonalds selling Coca-Cola,” said RAC head of dealer propositions Mario Dolcezza.

It has 800 dealer customers now, approximately a third are franchised. In the next 18 months the RAC wants to reach 1,600 in total.

However, the focus is on growing the RAC’s independent customer base.

Dolcezza said: “Independent dealers that offer high levels of customer service are seeking an independent accreditation with instant customer recognition that will allow them to deliver a comprehensive used car package to their customers. This will provide the means to compete with manufacturer approved used car schemes.

“Our research shows many independent used car dealers believe that competition in their sector is becoming tougher as the lack of good quality low age stock is reduced and franchised dealers are beginning to increase the age of cars they are prepared to sell, impinging on what has traditionally been the primary selling point for them.”

BuySure dealers must have been trading for at least 12 months and operate out of fixed premises. The RAC will be training dealers on ensuring adequate standards of vehicle preparation - and 10% of programme stock will be inspected each year in unannounced visits by RAC staff as part of the quality audit process.

‘Recommended’ dealers will also be given training on selling the package, plus showroom and point of sale marketing material.

As part of the initiative the RAC is also creating two levels of approved dealer below ‘recommended’: RAC ‘licensees’ offering RAC Warranty products on a non-mandatory basis and RAC ‘partners’ will add a mandatory minimum three-month warranty and three months complimentary roadside assistance.

The RAC says it has no plans to develop its used car consumer strategy to offer dealers’ stock online or allow dealer advertising on rac.co.uk.

BuySure has been created by RAC working with The Warranty Group, which has been its licensed partner in used car warranties since 2008.


 

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