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Auto Trader to incorporate admin fees into listed vehicle pricing

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, director of commercial products at Auto Trader

Auto Trader is to start including admin fees charged by retailers within a listed vehicle’s total advertising price in the interest of delivering “a transparent and fair experience”.

The new approach has started this month and it means admin prices will subsequently be reflected in the accompanying valuation and price indicator flag.

Auto Trader said the "vast majority" of retailers that list on its marketplace don't charge admin fees.

It marks the final step in Auto Trader’s objective of “removing all unfair advantage associated to admin fees” on its marketplace.

The first stage began in June 2020 with the introduction of a ‘no admin fees’ flag applied to those retailer adverts which didn’t include an additional charge.

It was followed in May 2021, with the exact costs clearly labelled on the adverts of those retailers who chose to include a separate admin fee. This information will continue to be shown on adverts.

More broadly, the move forms part of Auto Trader’s customer promise, which was launched in August 2019 to guide all future developments of its marketplace.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, said: “We’ve long been committed to creating a fair, consistent and transparent experience for both car buyers and our retailer partners on our marketplace, and the completion of our admin fee objective marks an important step on this journey.

“There are many reasons why some retailers choose to charge an admin fee, and while it’s not our place to determine whether it’s right or wrong, we do firmly believe that no business should be at a disadvantage for choosing not to.

“By enabling retailers to compete on a more level playing field, it represents another step towards our goal of supporting all of our retailer partners in their transition to digital retailing.”

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Devonshire Motors owner Nathan Tomlinson said of the event: "Being able to get back to networking and learning in person is something that I'm really looking forward to,” he said, adding: “One thing that really caught my eye was the message about ‘learning new skills to balance your workload’.

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