Three top UK dealer groups have been awarded ‘approved’ status in the FLA’s Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) competence test scheme in the past month: Arnold Clark, Marshall and Rybrook.
With Jardine Motors also expected to be accredited by the end of July, 22 of the UK’s 30 largest dealer networks will be able to display the SAF kitemark in showrooms.
While negotiations are continuing to get the remaining top networks on board, Motor Finance understands that the FLA is also seeking to get more mid-sized retailers involved.
Currently, well over a third of the UK’s top 100 dealers are accredited, though this figure is expected to rise as an increasing majority of market leaders lead the way by putting staff through the SAF examinations.
Of the newly accredited dealer groups, Marshall has been possibly the most enthusiastic adopter, going from entrance to the scheme, to full accreditation of more than 300 sales staff, in just eight weeks.
Jonathan Holdcroft, the FLA’s SAF policy and communications adviser, said: “Marshall was keen to become SAF-approved because it saw that it would give its staff an edge in learning about regulation and the technicalities of motor finance products. More than that though, it was reassured by the support that was on offer from the FLA and the recognition that SAF-approval is gaining amongst the car-buying public.”