Motor retailer codes of practice and alternative dispute resolution provider Motor Codes has released a new Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Sales (the Vehicle Sales Code), as a response to a growing number of enquiries received from car buyers since the arrival of the Consumer Rights Act and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) legislation last October.

The Vehicles Sales Code provides guidelines on the sale of both new and used cars, as well as the supply of finance and warranties.

With regards to the provision of finance products, the Code states that only finance products appropriate to the customers’ needs will be offered during the sales process.

It adds that:

  • Where the Code subscriber (i.e the dealer) offers finance to the customer to fund the purchase of a vehicle, the subscriber will provide the customer with enough information to allow them to make an informed decision about the finance products offered.
  • All finance product costs will be fully disclosed to the customer where finance products are being offered.  
  • Where a vehicle is acquired on finance the subscriber will provide the customer with appropriate advice in recommending a suitable product.
  • All finance documentation for any vehicle sold in the UK which the subscriber provides will be written in plain English.
  • The subscriber will provide the customer with the details of the finance agreement in writing including any contact and complaint information.
  • Any subscriber who has misrepresented a finance product during the sale of a vehicle will be in breach of this Code and bound to assist the consumer and finance company in resolving the dispute.
  • The subscriber will either be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or be an appointed representative of an authorised firm permitted to sell any financial products or other regulated activity.

Any independent garages or franchise dealers who adhere to the Vehicle Sales Code are voluntarily agreeing to operate to these standards during the sale of new and used vehicles and when offering associated products and services. By meeting these guidelines, they are able to display the Chartered Trading Standards Institute-approved Code and Motor Codes logos on their premises and website.

Bill Fennell, managing director of Motor Codes, said: "Following the recent introduction of Consumer Rights and ADR legislation, and the large number of enquiries seen by the Citizens Advice Bureau regarding used cars, it became apparent that there was an inherent need for a Vehicle Sales Code that offered consumers protection when buying a second-hand, or just as importantly, a new car. This gap has been filled, and the Code gives motorists the important reassurance that they are dealing with a trusted and reputable trader. They equally have a body to turn to in the unlikely event that they have a complaint that cannot be resolved directly with the seller."

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