​​​​​​​Highland Trading Standards car guide adopted nationally

A business compliance guide produced by Trading Standards Officers at Highland Council has been rolled out for use across the country.  The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) has published “Guidance for Second Hand Car Dealers” and printed copies are being made available to dealers across Scotland.  The document is also available online and there is great interest in it from regulators and the car trade across the UK.

David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager at The Highland Council explained:

“Consumer law can be tricky for small businesses to interpret and a key part of our role is advising small Highland businesses on their obligations.  Recent changes in the law had resulted in us receiving a number of queries from car dealers.  We soon realised that, instead of writing bespoke responses to every query, it would be more efficient in the long run if we produced a guidance document which we could supply and refer to.  So our officers wrote such a document.”

SCOTSS found out about the initiative and agreed to support it and roll it out across Scotland.  The final text was consulted on and detailed responses were received from a range of interested parties, including the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA), the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

David MacKenzie continued:

“We were delighted with the level of interest from these organisations, all of which were very supportive and complimentary about the guide.  Their feedback was about points of detail, most of which have been incorporated and have improved the final version.  Consumers get a better deal from well-informed local businesses.”

The SMTA is firmly behind the initiative.  Chief Executive Sandy Burgess commented:

“This document is a welcome addition to the level of guidance and advice available to our members and the wider industry of professionals who are engaged in the retailing of used vehicles across Scotland. By adhering to the detailed advice given, our membership can expect to maximize their exposure to the motoring consumers seeking to buy their next vehicle”.

The next step for the guide is expected to be recognition at UK level.  Discussions are ongoing to have it incorporated into official sources of business guidance covering the rest of the UK.  The document can be found at:  www.scotss.org/cars/SCOTSScarsalesguide.pdf  

Highland car dealers can receive a printed copy and any extra advice they may need from Highland Council Trading Standards at www.highland.gov.uk/motortrade or on 01463 228700 or email trading.standards@highland.gov.uk

-ends-

16 Feb 2018
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