Franchise dealers are to be "targeted" by the RAC Dealer Network in 2018 as a new potential market for RAC branded warranties.
At present, almost all of the the 1,300 dealers in the network are either independents or car supermarkets.
However, the RAC has reported that there are a handful of franchise dealers involved and they have achieved an “unexpected level of success through their association with the brand”.
RAC Dealer Network’s director, Sean Kent (pictured), said: “In targeting dealers, we have long worked under the assumption that franchisees are less interested in working with us and accessing the credibility of the RAC brand and its products because already they have the backing of major motor manufacturers.
“However, we have had a number of franchise dealers proactively approach us to offer RAC warranties and other products, and they have reported unexpectedly strong results.
"We are therefore starting the process of targeting carefully chosen franchise dealers as prospects.
“While it is overwhelmingly probable that franchisees will always only ever form a minority element of our network, they will still access substantial benefits by working with the RAC and we believe there is definitely a potential market there.”
Kent explained that the RAC brand appeared to be especially useful for smaller franchise dealer networks and those where the manufacturer approved used programme lacked immediate car buyer recognition.
“Looking into 2018, when used car buyers are very likely to be facing tougher economic conditions, this could be an important differentiator for individual dealers and dealer groups,” he said.