Motor Codes has announced the introduction of the new Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Sales.
The Code has been added in response to the growing number of enquiries received from car buyers since the arrival of the Consumer Rights Act and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) legislation last October.
The Citizens Advice Bureau also reported that, as a category, used cars have represented the second largest volume of complaints from consumers since 2014.
Awarded stage one approval by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), the Vehicle Sales Code provides guidelines on the sale of both new and used cars, as well as the supply of finance and warranties.
Consumers can now be protected from the initial purchase of a vehicle, through to servicing and repair, subject to the Codes that a trader is signed up to.
Any independent garages or franchise dealers who adhere to the Vehicle Sales Code are voluntarily agreeing to operate to the highest standards during the sale of new and used vehicles and when offering associated products and services.
By meeting these guidelines, they are able to display the widely-recognised CTSI-approved Code and Motor Codes logos on their premises and website, thereby giving customers added peace of mind.
The Vehicle Sales Code covers nine different areas.
These include the transparent wording of adverts and pricing, clear and transparent invoicing, and the sale of a used car which is supported by a vehicle provenance check to ensure that it has not been stolen, written-off and is free of any outstanding finance payments. It also highlights that retailers should provide test drives, avoid high-pressure selling techniques, supply accurate advice on warranty and finance products, and deliver a vehicle with a full handover, complete with all historic documentation, the entire service history and a valid MOT certificate.
Furthermore, subscribers pledge to resolve any problems quickly and cost effectively should a dispute arise in relation to the sales process. As a last resort, retailers are able to refer a customer to Motor Codes, a CTSI-certified ADR provider, for adjudication prior to the awarding of a final decision.