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    Major Black Horse Dealer Achieves SAF Approval

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    05/03/10  

    The Car People, one of the North’s biggest car retailers, is the latest to achieve 100% approved completion of the FLA’s Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) competence test, which was introduced in 2007 to improve dealer knowledge and consumer confidence in point of sale motor finance.

    The Car People said that SAF helps to promote improved professionalism and expertise linked to the sale of motor finance.  

    Black Horse, which itself achieved full SAF Approved status at the end of 2009 after it put its entire sales force through the rigorous test, is currently on a drive to promote the qualification across the 10,000 motor dealers it provides finance to.

    The Car People started up as a used car retailer in 1999 and has partnered with Black Horse on point of sale finance provision since 2000.

    During frequent account review meetings a plan was agreed for the company to gain SAF accreditation at the beginning of 2010.

    The SAF training was instigated by one of the company’s directors Jonathan Allbones, assisted by the group’s trainer Christine Lamb who co-ordinated training at the company’s three sites in Manchester, Wakefield and Sheffield.

    The Car People Director Jonathan Allbones commented: “We’ve enjoyed a close working relationship with Black Horse, so we’ve come to trust and value their opinion. When they recommended sitting the SAF test to us it seemed like a good fit with our company philosophy, as a means of formalising many of the things which we were already doing.

    “Our business prides itself on being highly professional, open and honest with our customers. SAF helps re-enforce that. All of our 112 employees have passed the online SAF competence test.”

    Black Horse Motor Finance Managing Director Chris Sutton commented: “The SAF logo is a kite-mark for car buyers and gives dealership sales staff the confidence and knowledge they need to sell point of sale finance effectively and responsibly.

    "As the leading provider for point of sale motor finance we see it as our responsibility to work with the FLA to promote the benefits of this quality standard to our dealer base. 

    “The SAF test helps to improve the uniformity of information which is offered, ensuring that a consistent approach is delivered from dealer to dealer. This is in line with our own values regarding customers, with a commitment to making things simple and taking ownership to ensure continual improvement.  

    “The FLA’s figures show that point of sale finance is the most popular means of funding a new car purchase, so sellers have an essential and trusted role to play in helping buyers make the decision which is right for them.

    “Ultimately it will also help to increase dealers’ bottom line, through finance penetration and increased motor sales, which is more crucial than ever in today’s economic climate.”

    Registering your dealership for the test is fast, easy and free of charge.

    Find out more and sign-up at www.specialistautomotivefinance.co.uk .  

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    Press contact:

    For further information please contact Black Horse PR Manager Mike McPartlin on 02921 386338 or 07795 316090.

    Notes to Editor

    The SAF Competence Test is an annual online test aimed at all customer-facing staff in motor dealerships. The aim of the test is to improve the professional standards and knowledge of staff on motor finance for the benefit of car buyers and the industry.

    FLA members believe that improving consumer confidence in finance is a shared challenge for the retail motor and motor finance industries, and so the SAF competence test is free of charge to all dealerships.

    The online test, which must be renewed every 12 months, consists of 40 challenging multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 40 minutes. The syllabus for the SAF competence test can be downloaded here.