A change in online strategy for the 1,100 strong RAC Dealer Network is designed to place an emphasis on “cars not dealers”.
Closer integration of the RAC Cars web site with www.rac.co.uk now means that promotion will be based more on specific vehicles for the 3.3 million annual visitors who were previously guided towards their nearest dealer on a geographical basis.
Sean Kent, director, corporate and independent dealers at The Warranty Group, the RAC’s partner in the dealer sector, said: “The traffic generated by the RAC web site is a massive potential source of business for us and, in the past, we have capitalised on this by promoting individual dealers from within our network.
“However, the fact is that most used car sales are driven by customers looking for specific models or types of vehicle, so we are changing our online strategy to place the emphasis on cars not dealers.
“This should help to further increase sales by meeting the needs of customers more successfully.”
Around 15% of all vehicles listed on the RAC web site at any one time are from members of the Dealer Network and they also account for 12% of all sales leads generated.
Kent said that the new approach was about using the strength of the RAC brand online and “ensuring that dealers get the most out of its credibility with used car customers”.
There are three levels of dealer with the RAC Dealer Network. The entry-level simply sell RAC Warranty products. The second, RAC Dealers, supply a minimum mandatory three months of warranty and 12 months of breakdown cover.
The highest, RAC Approved Dealers, have exclusive agreements to take part in the RAC BuySure initiative.
RAC BuySure provides used car buyers with a nationwide scheme that sets very high standards commensurate with the RAC brand.
The initiative sees dealers commit to an 82-point RAC Approved Preparation Standard on every vehicle, a vehicle data check, and a minimum of three months of RAC Warranty cover.
In support of this, the RAC provides 12 months’ RAC breakdown cover and enrolment for the customer to RAC Accident Care.