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Regulations can be used to build trust with used car buyers

Debbie McKay MotoNovo's commercial director

Used car dealers can use the Consumer Rights Act and the FCA's proposed Consumer Duty plans to improve consumer perceptions of the industry, according to MotoNovo.

Key findings from MotoNovo's Attitudes to Car Buying Research reveal the importance of dealers' knowledge, transparency and overall helpfulness for used car buyers. These soft attributes sit hand-in-hand with the upfront information provided on a car; its condition, maintenance, service record and insights on the overall running costs the customer can expect.

With attention now turning to the FCA's announcement on its proposed Consumer Duty plans, MotoNovo's commercial director Debbie McKay (pictured) believes consumer regulation can be an opportunity to differentiate the dealer model.

She said: "I'm well aware that the Consumer Rights Act is, on occasion, seen by some in motor retailing as a 'thorny issue.' However, by building it and Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1975, the protection offered to consumers taking out a regulated finance case, into the sales process, represents not only a  great way of demonstrating helpfulness to close a sale, but they can also help to minimise post-sale issues that might arise."

McKay's assertion is reflected by AA guidance on customer rights in used car buying which note, "Dealers are generally the safest route to a new car – maximum legal protection with the least risk."

Given that the Consumer Rights Act and  Section 75 are not optional for a dealer selling to consumers, McKay is clear that placing them in plain sight' in promotional activities speak volumes for the quality of a dealer's cars and commitment to customers care.

"Dealers are obliged to prepare the car before offering it for sale, including verifying the accuracy of the recorded mileage. Explain these checks, walk customers through a completed Pre-Delivery Checklist, and add a new MOT and warranty, and dealers are not only building value in their service, but they are also mitigating the potential for future problems and enhancing their reputation. Consumer regulation really can be a powerful opportunity for car retailing," she added.

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