Four out of five motorists are more likely to buy a car from a salesperson accredited to sell car finance, according to research from Alphera Financial Services.
The BMW-owned finance provider, which recently struck-up a partnership with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to promote the uptake of its accreditation scheme for finance and insurance sales specialists, found that buyers believe accreditation could reduce risk of being mis-sold car finance.
A total of 79% of respondents to Alphera’s survey of over 1,000 motorists said that they would be more likely to transact a car purchase with a dealership salesperson who holds formal, industry-approved accreditation governing the sale of finance and insurance products.
While the concept of accreditation is widely accepted for practical disciplines across the motor trade – notably for vehicle technicians – currently there is no universal independent scheme that exists to ensure high standards in skills and knowledge when it comes to the sale of vehicle finance and insurance products.
Spencer Halil, director of Alphera Financial Services, highlighted the importance of consumer trust in the wake of the PPI sales scandal. He said: “Consumers are more alert than ever to the risk of being sold an inappropriate finance product.
“Dealer sales staff must have the skills and knowledge necessary to properly qualify a customer’s needs and deliver a clear and transparent presentation that enables informed decision-making.
“An accreditation pathway, robustly assessed and backed by the IMI will help ensure high standards and give the customer the confidence they need to trust our industry in everything we do.
“As well as safeguarding the compliant selling of F&I products across their business, those dealers that support relevant staff in securing accreditation will have the opportunity to use it as a differentiator in the sales process, helping them build trust more effectively and ultimately convert more leads.”
Alphera’s survey also revealed that sales staff with accreditation would be more likely to win the trust of female customers, with 81% of women stating that a qualification in car finance sales would make them more likely to buy.
In addition, millennial motorists – those aged between 16 and 24 – were the most likely to prefer to buy from qualified F&I sellers, with 83% saying accredited sales staff would make them more willing to buy a new car, and 74% of over-55s would also be ‘more likely’ to use the dealer introduced finance offer.