Auto Trader has said it is not its place ‘to judge’ whether admin fees charged by dealers is the right or wrong thing to do.
Following news revealed earlier this week that the classified advertising website will begin flagging adverts from dealers that charge a fee, Auto Trader said it has a ‘responsibility’ to do it.
Auto Trader said this week it planned to highlight the ‘inconsistencies’ around admin fees charged by dealers to make adverts more transparent.
In a statement issued today, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, said: ‘There are many reasons why some retailers choose to charge an admin fee, and whilst it’s not our place to judge whether it’s right to do so, it is our responsibility to ensure our marketplace is fair, consistent and transparent for car buyers, and importantly, that we provide a level playing field for all of our retailer partners.
‘This marks an important step in our commitment to support all retailers in their digital retailing ambitions, and to ensure all of the information relevant to the buying journey is transparent online.’
Some car dealers charge an admin fee to customers on top of the purchase price and don’t always display the charges clearly.
Dealers who do not tell Auto Trader whether they charge a fee or not it will be assumed that they do and adverts will be flagged as such from May 3.
Auto Trader will be letting car dealers who do not charge an admin fee display this clearly on adverts on the site.
Dealers have been able to highlight whether or not they charge such fees in the website’s Dealer Portal and so far 8,000 have done so.
From May 3 details of admin fees will be displayed on adverts and those who do not charge a fee will be flagged with ‘no admin fees’ on their listings.
From March 1, car dealers will also be able to configure the amount they charge in fees so this can be detailed in adverts too.
Auto Trader says car dealers have a duty to ensure the final price payable, including any ‘unavoidable and foreseeable components’ are clearly advertised to buyers.
Later this year, Auto Trader will take the admin fee into account when users search for cars by price.