NFDA ‘disappointed’ by new trading standards guide to used car industry consumer law

Time 12:21 pm, March 3, 2020

A LOBBY group for vehicle retailers today labelled as ‘disappointing’ a newly published free guide to consumer law for the UK used car industry.

‘Car Traders and Consumer Law’ – released yesterday by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – was written by legal and trading standards experts and, said the institute, is designed to support the legal compliance of businesses in the used car industry and enhance consumer protection.

CTSI chief executive Leon Livermore said the guide was endorsed by trading standards bodies across the UK. ‘The used car market is more significant today than it has ever been, and competition is high. Whether you are a large franchise or a small independent dealer, all used car dealers should read this guide,’ he added.

However, Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers’ Association (NFDA), said today: ‘It is disappointing that following a number of responses, including our detailed comments on the draft guidance consultation, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has ignored the majority of the issues the NFDA had outlined alongside other industry trade bodies.’

The NFDA said it voiced its concern with the guidance document’s interpretation of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, particularly in areas where it believed the guidance failed to account for context and nuance in the sales process and exceeded what was required by the act.

It said the UK used car market was key to the success of the automotive industry and UK economy, with 7.9 million used cars sold in 2019, according to the SMMT. Additionally, evidence from the independently conducted NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey 2019, which polled 2,000 people, showed that more than half of UK motorists (55 per cent) planned to buy a used vehicle as their next car, it said.

Robinson added: ‘We are concerned that the guide does not provide a clear operating environment for dealers. The NFDA will continue to liaise with the CTSI and highlight franchised dealers’ concerns. We will be looking at the guide in detail and communicate further updates to our members.’

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