About Specialist Automotive Finance

Independent research published in 2006 showed that car buyers generally did not fully understand the features and benefits of finance sold in motor dealerships, and that there were mixed perceptions on the quality of finance information given in showrooms.

The research also found that there were no professional standards for dealerships related to the sale of motor finance. The FLA and its members (motor finance companies) thought we could help and introduced Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) in 2007.

SAF aims to raise professional standards and improve the knowledge of dealership staff involved in selling motor finance. SAF will help to boost the confidence of car buyers on motor finance by providing better information and advice in showrooms on which product is right for them.    

Core to SAF is the online SAF competence test which assess’ the knowledge of staff on the finance products sold in dealerships, as well as motor finance regulation. When an individual passes the test he/she is awarded a Certificate of SAF Competence Test and becomes a SAF Expert in recognition of their improved standard of knowledge. Click here for more information on the SAF competence test and how it works.

In August 2009, the FLA extended SAF-certification for individuals (SAF Expert) to companies. SAF Approved is SAF-certification for companies who meet the FLA’s eligibility criteria. Click here for more information on SAF Approved and how it works.


Benefits of SAF and SAF Approved for motor dealerships:

Free access to reference material that reflects the latest information on motor finance products and motor finance regulation.

Access to the free of charge online SAF competence test.

Raise the professional standards and knowledge of employees to ensure car buyers are guided to the best products for their needs and budget.

SAF provides professional recognition for individuals and companies.

Ability to use SAF promotional material in showrooms and in local advertising to help attract customers.

Consistent showroom standards to instil confidence in car buyers and retain existing customers.

All of the above may have a positive impact on new and used car finance applications.


Benefits of SAF and SAF Approved for car buyers:

Car buyers will benefit from improved information and guidance on motor finance options, and their rights under finance agreements.

Consistency in the information received, underpinned by the FLA’s SAF guidance note.

Greater consumer confidence and peace of mind in the point-of-sale offering.

Clearly branded showrooms indicating which dealerships have voluntarily obtained SAF Approved status.

www.FinancingYourCar.org.uk – the FLA’s dedicated and impartial website for car buyers on their motor finance options.


About the Finance and Leasing Association

The FLA is the leading trade association for the motor finance, asset finance and consumer credit industries in the UK. In 2011, FLA members completed £72.8 billion of new business. This included £19.8 billion of motor finance with around 65% of all private new car sales in the UK were financed by FLA members.

Figures from the FLA show that finance sold in motor dealerships is the most popular method of buying a new car. 

For more information about the FLA visit www.fla.org.uk


Financing Your Car

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