AA Cars Approved Dealer standard excites UK auto industry

car agent talking with male customer at car dealership saloon

In early February, AA Cars launched its Approved Dealer standard for dealers selling used cars online in an attempt to increase consumer trust. AA Approved Dealer status is designed to ensure that all dealers, whether individuals, franschises or otherwise, meet the high standards set by the AA before they are awarded it for selling vehicles online and on the forecourt.

Since the launch of this initiative, the concept has created plenty of interest across the UK auto industry. The news has been picked up and shared by several industry publications. Such positive activity goes to demonstrate how useful the initiative is.

UK wide coverage

From coverage in Wales to piquing the interest of UK insurance companies and elsewhere, the AA Approved Dealer standard has gained exposure across both industry and geographical areas of the UK auto industry. Such extensive coverage after a relatively short period of time is a positive sign that it will be a success in the near and long term future.

With many online publications willing to spread the news, it also shows how important they believe the initiative will be. Sites aimed at those working in the motor trade to franchised dealers and others that target car buyers have all shared the announcement. This is a good indicator of its relevance to both car dealers and buyers alike.

What is an Approved Dealer?

An AA Cars Approved Dealer is either a franchised dealer who inspects their cars to a manufacturer standard or an independent dealer who will allow the AA to inspect all their vehicles for sale. This is to ensure that independent dealers are brought to the same standard as franchised dealers.

The dealer must sign up to the AA’s Dealer Promise (a ten-point customer service charter) as well. Then, when they receive the AA Approved Dealer status, they can advertise this. The aim is to increase the trust associated with each dealership for potential buyers, improving their business image, reputation and subsequently sales.

AA Approved Dealer status and standards were introduced after research discovered that 27% of drivers intend to change their car in the next year. Added to the fact that 92% would prefer to purchase an inspected car, with 86% saying they’d feel more reassured if their dealer was associated with the AA, the initiative made sense.

Become an AA Approved Dealer

If you want to become part of this new and exciting scheme, then your dealership will need to sign up for the Dealer Promise. This ten-point plan includes:

  • Providing a minimum of 6 months MOT on all vehicles
  • Offering a road test for all vehicles
  • Delivering a free history check
  • Handing over all essential documents (V5, MOT certificate etc.)
  • Agreeing to an audit by AA Cars once a year

As mentioned, independent dealers will also have to allow the AA to inspect all their cars before going on sale, while franchised dealers must be inspecting theirs to manufacturer standards. Getting involved in this widely discussed industry leading initiative should provide a real boost to your dealership when selling cars online.

Image courtesy of iStock.

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