The AA Cars used car portal has launched a ten-point Dealer Promise scheme which aims to develop new levels of trust between dealers and customers.
The scheme has been introduced following research which found that just 7% of customers trust used car dealerships and has already seen 40% of the platforms independent dealer subscribers sign up to the new standard.
Paul Yates, managing director of AA Cars, said: “The used car industry is fixated on increasing leads for dealers.
“While leads are vital in ensuring growth, reputation and trust is what really underpins the health of the sector and ultimately sales figures. If this industry is to flourish, honesty and transparency with the consumer is paramount.
“What we’re hoping to do with Dealer Promise is to create an industry-accepted code of conduct and standards, working alongside dealers to address a fundamental problem of consumer trust and confidence.”
Among AA Cars’ Dealer Promise are assurances that customers will receive a minimum six months MOT on all vehicles, ensuring that all essential documents are handed over at the point of sale, a free history check and 12 months AA breakdown recovery.
According to AA Cars, the benefits to dealerships include: enhanced business reputation by visibly partnering with the AA, the UK’s most trusted brand; increased lead generation due to dedicated Dealer Promise digital branding; and higher conversion to sale ratio driven by showroom point of sale.
This includes a plaque for the dealer's premises along with a pull-up banner explaining the benefits of Dealer Promise.
A mediation service is also being offered with AA Cars acting as a broker between consumers and dealers when issues need to be escalated.
Nigel Kamel, founder of N&J Car Sales, has signed up to the Dealer Promise. He said: "The AA Dealer Promise has had an amazing impact on our business.
“Customers are pleased that we are offering everything that is detailed as part of the Dealer Promise, including 12 months breakdown cover.
“Customers feel that they can trust us more because of this and have much more confidence in us because of the promises. The future looks exciting thanks to the AA Dealer Promise."
Nigel J Cheke, managing director of EssexTradeCars, said: “The new Dealer Promise has also substantially increased our customers' peace of mind.”