- AA Cars, the used car website, launches ‘Dealer Promise’ – a visible, concise customer service commitment from dealers to car buyers
- Customers to benefit from industry-first AA mediation service, handling disputes between buyers and used car dealers
- Damaged industry image set for overhaul through increased transparency
London, 12 October – AA Cars is inviting dealers to join its Dealer Promise scheme, a customer service charter to lift confidence in the sales practices of the used car industry. This is a timely boost for both dealers and consumers following market research, which suggests trust in the sector is at an all-time low.
The AA’s car buying site has approached its growing network of dealers to help increase transparency, honesty and trust in the used car industry by adopting Dealer Promise*. Dealers will openly promote a visible 10-point charter that includes a commitment to offer history checks, provide a minimum of six months MOT, hand over all relevant documentation and offer an adequate road test on all vehicles. Additionally, all vehicles will come with 12 months free AA breakdown cover.
The move comes as consumers are now faced with multiple choices, challenges and risks when trying to find a potential used car online to buy. The AA is attempting to simplify and make the process safer to ensure the public feels confident when buying what is the second biggest purchase after a home.
Dealer Promise also includes an industry-first – a mediation service that will see AA Cars directly handling disputes between customers and dealerships.
Dealer Promise follows recent market research that found just seven per cent of UK consumers trusted used car dealerships.** On top of this, 36% of consumers who’d intended to buy a car in the last six months had not done so because they could only find vague, hard-to-find or misleading information while looking to purchase.
AA Cars mediation service
The unique mediation proposal offered by Dealer Promise means AA Cars will act as a broker between consumers and dealers if issues need to be escalated and resolved. The key objective of the service is to create a line of recourse for customers if a problem develops with their recently purchased vehicle. In these scenarios, AA Cars aims to mediate the best and fairest solution for both parties.
Paul Yates, Managing Director of AA Cars, comments: “The used car industry has made giant leaps in the last few years with a lot of work around building consumer trust, but still the automotive sector suffers from an outdated, negative image.
“The aim of our ten-point Dealer Promise is to improve the reputation of the industry and help consumers feel confident when buying a used car. One way is introducing our mediation service that works with both the dealer and aggrieved customer to broker a fair resolution to any disputes.
“The friction arises because some buyers often don’t know their rights. The AA, which is one of Britain’s most trusted brands, can now step in and help drive a quicker and more amicable settlement.
“AA Cars is trying to help consumers fully understand their rights in the unlikely event something should go wrong during the buying process. However, the vast majority of independent dealerships provide an excellent, and vital service to customers.
“This isn’t just a facelift – it’s an entire attitude shift that aims to instil transparency, honesty and professionalism at the heart of an often unfairly maligned industry.”
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Notes to Editors
* AA Cars’ Dealer Promise
Dealerships that have signed up to Dealer Promise assure the customer that they are delivering the following:
- Provide a minimum of 6 months MOT on all vehicles
- Offer a road test to ensure that vehicle meets your requirements
- Hand over all essential documents including V5 registration document, MOT certificate and any available service records
- Provide a free history check on every vehicle
- Welcome any vehicle inspection by us or any other independent third party, prior to purchase
- Professionally prepare and hand over the vehicle in good condition
- Be audited by AA Cars once a year to ensure compliance with this Dealer Promise
- Enable the consumer to escalate issues to AA Cars who will mediate between them and the dealer
- The dealer will honour their obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to protect the consumer’s purchase
- All vehicles advertised on AA Cars come with 12 months breakdown cover
** Source: Auto Trader Market Report
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About AA Cars
AA Cars is the UK’s #1 online resource for buying a used car. Every car comes with free AA Breakdown cover for 12 months and history check, and many dealers have AA Vehicle Inspections – a thorough 128-point vehicle inspection independently conducted by the AA.