The National Franchised Dealers’ Association is urging regulatory body the Financial Conduct Authority to waive or defer the annual fee it charges motor traders for authorisation to provide finance products.
The NFDA, which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, said the coronavirus outbreak was having a significant impact on the motor retail sector, with showrooms closed to physical visitors. In addition, while repair centres can stay open for key workers, the demand for essential service and repair services for other customers has declined as motorists make fewer journeys.
Franchised retailers provide sales and repair services to motorists and businesses across the UK, as well as car finance and insurance products.
Firms such as franchised dealers groups that are regulated by the FCA pay a fee every year to be allowed to provide finance products.
But NFDA director Sue Robinson said: ‘During these challenging times, we urge the FCA to consider waiving its fees or at least implement a one-year deferral for motor retailers.
‘Each measure that mitigates against the severity of the impact of the coronavirus will be vital in retaining jobs and investments.
‘This simple yet effective measure would ease the burden on motor retailers and give them additional breathing space to meet obligations to staff and creditors.’