Demonstrating your duty of care with aftersales finance

Demonstrating your duty of care with aftersales finance

Research carried out over the last couple of years by companies such as Kwik Fit and Evans Halshaw has highlighted the extent to which motorists put off vital car maintenance; often opting to drive their vehicles in an unroadworthy state, simply because the cost of repairs exceeds their financial limits.

As revealed in an article from This Is Money, over 1.2 million UK motorists have admitted to knowingly driving cars that are not fit for the road. A large proportion of owners have also chosen the 'cheap fix' route of DIY repairs. Although this may sometimes be an acceptable move for those who know their way around an engine, repairs from the 'have a go' novice or 'friend of a friend' are extremely worrying. Indeed, as Kwik Fit discovered, of those who decide to carry out repairs themselves, "a third said the quality of the work they or a friend or relative did concern them".

Many motorists fail to realise that, as well as being dangerous, driving an unroadworthy vehicle is actually a criminal offence. A faulty exhaust system, faulty brakes, worn-out tyres, damaged seatbelts or even cracked wing mirrors could all result in a fine of up to £3000 and 3 points on a licence. In some cases, motorists could even find themselves on a 'careless driving' charge. Of course, driving a vehicle that is unroadworthy can have far more dire consequences; posing a serious risk to the lives of the driver, other motorists, passengers and pedestrians.

Regional police units are routinely pulling dangerous cars from our roads as part of a national operation aimed at tackling unsafe and unroadworthy vehicles. Where possible, however, we need to prevent these cars from being on the roads in the first place! Given that cost is the main reason cited for the avoidance of repairs and maintenance work, dealerships can play a key role in promoting road safety; specifically, by offering cash-strapped motorists an affordable, achievable way of paying for repairs.

As with Bumper, the option to spread payments over a realistic time frame, at no extra cost, encourages motorists to put safety first:

A responsible lending solution means drivers can have work carried out at a reliable franchised workshop. It eliminates the need to 'shop around' and risks choosing somebody less reputable for the sake of a 'cheap fix'.

The ability to comfortably meet payments lessens the temptation to carry out DIY 'bodge jobs'.

For customers who may have otherwise been tempted to skip repairs altogether, interest-free payment plans offer the flexibility to 'fix now, pay later'. Motorists are given peace of mind that their vehicle is in safe working order and financial outlay is controlled.

Aftersales finance offers many benefits for dealerships, but it isn't always about enabling a larger proportion of red and amber work to be sold; it's also about demonstrating a duty of care to the customer.

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