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Consumers ‘unaware’ of dealers’ obligations in finance sales

The majority of UK motorists (64%) are unaware that dealer sales employees are required to discuss their financial needs and requirements when purchasing a vehicle on finance.

That’s the key finding of a survey of 1,035 UK motorists carried out by Aplhera Financial Services, which highlighted the low level of consumer awareness of dealer obligations when selling finance and insurance products.

The survey found that more than half of motorists (58%) were unaware that dealer sales staff are responsible for discussing repayment obligations.

The same proportion of respondents were unaware of the responsibility to outline a finance product’s terms and conditions and details of additional charges. 77% of respondents didn’t know that dealers must outline how purchasing a vehicle on finance may affect their credit rating.

Gerry Kouris, marketing manager at Alphera Financial Services, said: “Consumers appear unaware that dealers have a number of obligations when it comes to the sale of car finance.

“This deficit, between a dealer’s obligations and customers’ awareness of their rights, means sales staff must clearly explain every aspect of a finance product, and properly assess the customers’ needs.

“If dealers can address this gap and offer total transparency, they can empower customers to make an informed decision, giving them confidence that a finance product is truly appropriate for them. In the long term this approach will foster greater customer loyalty and more sustainable income for dealers.”

Alphera is working with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to introduce a new accreditation scheme for finance and insurance (F&I) sales specialists – with the first assessments taking place in June.

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