Three years ago, Airdrie-based James Glen Car Sales became the first dealer in Scotland to sign up to the RAC Approved Dealer initiative – something that director Stephen Bogan says was a very positive move for the business.
He explained: “We’re a long-established business, having started in 1982, but a few years ago we noticed that more and more of our leads were coming from online and fewer from traditional showroom footfall “So we decided to become an essentially internet-based car dealer. Doing this means that we are working with customers who are often travelling from further afield, so having the credibility for them to choose to make that journey becomes important
“Our reputation, built over many years, is a key factor but the decision to become an RAC Approved Dealer was very much part of this process of changing the business. The brand provides a very large element of trust. Stephen said that the RAC name is an especially persuasive factor when a customer is faced with the choice of buying a similar car from James Glen or a competing dealer
“This is when we find that working with the RAC really separates us from our competitors, especially when we explain the standards that we have to meet in order to call ourselves an Approved Dealer. “The market is moving towards a point where used car buyers expect a very comprehensive proposition – and meeting that trend by working with the RAC has been good for our business. The RAC currently has 16 Approved Dealers in Scotland and is looking to add to that number during 2018.
Sean Kent, sales director at the RAC Dealer Network, said: “The RAC Approved Dealer programme is designed to deliver the best possible used car buying experience for consumers while providing dealers with the advantages of being able to prominently use the RAC brand in their sales and marketing to boost their business.
“We are seeking high quality dealers who share our absolute commitment to customer satisfaction and whose values are commensurate with the RAC’s reputation. The programme sets high standards, which does mean more work for dealers, but the benefits are considerable.”
Research shows that 80% of used car buyers surveyed who purchased a car from an RAC Approved Dealer said that doing so gave them more confidence, while 76% of used car buyers surveyed who bought a car from an RAC Approved Dealer added that their affiliation to the RAC positively impacted on their decision to buy a car from them.