OMS spends 10 minutes with Neil Addley, Managing Director of NFDA Trusted Dealers
Neil is acknowledged as one of the leading motor sector marketing and sales experts in the UK, having held senior positions in a number of the country’s largest car dealer groups and online car sales businesses.
He is now the MD of NFDA Trusted Dealers, which counts 886 of the UK’s largest franchised dealers as members and is joint owned by the NFDA – The National Franchised Dealers Association – which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK and lobbies on issues including manufacturer relationships, legislation, used cars, finance, insurance and aftersales.
Sum up NFDA Trusted Dealers in 30 words or less…
The role of NFDA Trusted Dealers is to promote the benefits of buying a used car from a franchised dealer and to generate enquiries from consumers on these used cars.
How has NFDA Trusted Dealers changed the used car market?
By bringing in standards to back our 10 points of difference, NFDA Trusted Dealers has established a significant benchmark in terms of consumer protection and security. Allied to this, our binding consumer arbitration service means a consumer can buy from a Trusted Dealer with complete peace of mind.
What’s your top tip to staying safe when buying used?
My top tip would of course be to buy from a Trusted Dealer, but beyond that, there are a number of websites that give reviews of both dealers and cars to find a dealer recommended by consumers. Our Scambusters guide outlines what customers should look for when buying a used car to ensure they stay safe. Some of the best advice I can give is to be sensible, do your research and trust your instincts – make sure you know what you’re looking for, what your budget is and make sure all the documents are in order.
And what should set customers’ alarm bells ringing?
If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always insist on viewing a car on dealer premises or if you are buying privately, insist on meeting at the seller’s home address.
Will the used car market ever have the same reputation as the new car market?
Buying a used car from a reputable website offers almost exactly the same reassurance and protection as buying a new car and with the extended warranties now available you can buy a used car with complete confidence.
What other improvements could be made in the used car industry?
Flexible finance options such as personal contract purchases (PCPs) should and are already becoming more readily available in the used car market and coupled with the increase in people willing to buy online, the market will become even more consumer-focused, which is very positive for buyers.
What can consumers do to help keep the industry as safe as possible?
Again, I would recommend that consumers buy a car from a Trusted Dealer for peace of mind and check out websites like judgeservice.com to see which dealers deliver best in terms of customer care. Never turn up with a bag of cash to a stranger and always make sure you do your research.
Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?
I can’t say one achievement stands out above all others but I really enjoy building teams of people with a shared purpose and vision.
Is there anything you don’t know about the motor industry?
Every day is a school day and whether it’s new insights into consumer behaviour, digital marketing or cars themselves, I look forward to the next lesson as much as the first.
Can you give any advice to parents buying a used car for their teen?
I would start with the insurance because the worst thing (and I have been there), is when your offspring get a car in mind that is impossible to insure cost-effectively. If you can afford it, there are some really good free insurance offers on new cars which if you take them in the round (add the cost of the car and the insurance together) can often be cheaper than buying used cars. In terms of specific models, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and VW Polo seem to be the most popular choices for first cars unless of course you are feeling indulgent and go for the quintessential favourite, the Mini.
What will the used car industry look like in 20 years’ time?
That’s a really interesting question. I think more people will be buying online from trusted sources and that finance will be the key driver to the choice of vehicle. There will be more electric cars than we can dream of and driverless cars will have become a reality.
Will we be buying used driverless cars?
Undoubtedly. Whilst the shape of the driverless car market has the potential to be more akin to consumer electronics, I strongly believe the franchise-blended retail experience will be the dominant form of vehicle sales. Albeit the transactions will take place in dealerships, online and in your home.