The Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) has praised motor dealers for their commitment to better information for car buyers, after a record year for its Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) scheme.

    SAF is a kite-mark to increase car buyer confidence in car finance, with dealer sales staff completing an online assessment. Participating dealers must also adhere to a SAF Guidance Note, which is underpinned by the FLA’s long-establish Lending Code. The industry-regulated SAF scheme is designed to help car buyers make an informed choice when choosing how to finance their next car.

    A hugely successful year for SAF concludes with RRG Group (also known as Marubeni) becoming the latest high-profile dealer group to be awarded ‘SAF Approved’ status. Around 110 staff across RRG Group’s 23 showrooms have passed the SAF test. Over 80% of the UK’s largest dealer groups are now participating in the scheme.

    Paul Harrison, Head of Motor Finance at the FLA, said:

    “The motor finance market is performing well in difficult times, but customers are savvy when shopping for expensive purchases and will look out for dealers who offer the best service levels. People can review the car finance options available to them at, and search for their nearest SAF Approved showroom on our dealer directory.”

    “2011 has been an outstanding year for SAF, with 7,500 industry staff signing-up to the scheme. SAF is an example of how industry action can improve information given to consumers. We have also heard how a number of dealerships have turned to SAF to demonstrate their motor finance compliance to the regulators.”

    “My congratulations to RRG Group who become the latest ‘SAF Approved’ business.”