The RAC Dealer Network is looking to swell its ranks after it said a rise in consumer demand led to a 25 per cent year-on-year revenue growth from warranty premiums during 2021.
Sean Kent, European director of automotive for Assurant, which partners with the RAC in the warranty and aftersales market, said the results were also nine per cent up on pre-Covid 2019, despite the lockdowns that had interrupted business.
‘The total number of used car retailers in the RAC Dealer Network now numbers more than 1,300 and we’re looking to add around 200 during the first half of this year.
‘Our target remains the same – to work with dealers who both share the RAC’s ethos of placing the customer first and are committed to being good ambassadors for the brand.
‘We are working hard to identify businesses that fit this brief and will become successful members of our network.’
He said premium revenue growth had been prompted by two key trends: more customers upgrading their warranty when they buy a car, and a general upgrading of warranties provided by dealers as standard with new vehicles.
‘These are both long-term trends but do seem to have accelerated during the stock shortages of the past couple of years.
‘Used cars are becoming more expensive and customers appear to be looking for better protection from unexpected motoring costs.’
Further growth had been prompted by new products introduced across the RAC Dealer Network, including its EV warranty, alloy wheel and cosmetic damage insurance, plus specialist preparation standards for vans, motorhomes and motorcycles.
‘We have been working to meet changing market dynamics, such as satisfying the need for a dedicated EV warranty, and also appealing to a wider range of dealers through cover for new vehicle types and providing a larger variety of products for retailers to offer,’ he said.
‘As well as the brand recognition provided by working with the RAC, these enhancements are very much part of our proposition as we look to add new dealers to the network over the next few months.’