The launch this week of an RAC Approved Dealer standard for used vans and other light commercial vehicles creates a “new kind of proposition” in the LCV sector.
That’s the view of Sean Kent, RAC sales director at Assurant, the Fortune 500 company which partners with the RAC in providing and administering warranties and related solutions.
He said: “The new standard is designed to create a nationwide approved used van programme commensurate with the values of the RAC brand, with all of the benefits that brings for both customers and retailers.
“It is very much a new kind of proposition in this sector where, outside of franchise dealer networks, there are few retailers with the kind of consumer brand recognition that we can deliver. With the RAC Approved Dealer initiative, dealers who meet our criteria can associate themselves directly with the credibility of the RAC brand, instantly differentiating themselves from their competitors.
“Our research shows that customers who buy from used car retailers that are members of the RAC Approved Dealer Network often do so because of the presence of the brand – and we anticipate that it will also be a major strength in the van sector.”
The new proposition is based around detailed preparation criteria created specifically for vans under 3.5 tonnes while other benefits include a three month RAC warranty, 12 months of breakdown cover, a vehicle data check and enrolment to RAC Accident Care.
Customers will also be offered the opportunity to extend their warranty while, at many dealers, they will also be able to purchase RAC Service Plan and GAP products. The van standard was originally created earlier this year for the launch of the Vanbase supermarket in Bristol.
Sean added: “The construction of this proposition has been developed from our experience with the RAC Approved Dealer programme for cars and our existing expertise as a warranty provider within the LCV sector.
“It provides a very comprehensive used vehicle package that is market leading in all key respects and is ready to play an active part in the success of participating dealers.”
All types of van dealers including supermarkets, independents and franchises can become RAC Approved Dealers. Retailers who meet its standards can make extensive use of RAC branding in their marketing alongside a range of other benefits.
Sean added: “The number of RAC Approved Dealers retailing cars has grown in the last year and, with the creation of the van standard, we believe that there is considerable potential to bring our benefits to a new section of the dealer community.”