Monday, 22 January 2018 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
In 2017, we saw new car sales drop for the first time in 6 years. Motor traders face many challenges in 2018 from the implications of Brexit to inflation and reduced disposable income. It’s fair to say the motor trade is changing and so are government laws. Whilst this may be a challenge for your motor trader business, it also represents an opportunity to try new strategies.
New diesel vehicle tax
In last year’s autumn budget, it was announced that new diesel vehicles registered from 1st April 2018, which don’t meet the latest emissions standards, will face an increased one-off tax in the first year. This has caused confusion amongst customers who aren’t fully clear about what the cost of the one-off tax cost would be, as this depends on the type of diesel vehicle they purchase. The good news for motor traders is that pre-owned diesel vehicles registered before 1st April 2018 won’t be subject to this government tax change.
General data protection regulation (GDPR)
The introduction of GDPR on 25th May 2018 will replace all the current data protection legislation in the European Union including our own Data Protection Act 1998. For motor traders, this means you’ll need to obtain permission from existing and new customers to hold their personal data. You’ll have to demonstrate how consent was gained and when. Plus, you’ll also have to make withdrawing consent as simple as possible for every customer. For every customer that opts in, you can take confidence in knowing that each customer wants to hear from you and that you’re not wasting time or budget on disinterested customers. More information about GDPR can be found here.
Used-car sales prediction
It’s forecasted that 2018 will be a strong year for the used car market, as new car sales are predicted to continue declining. This presents an opportunity for your motor trade business to focus more on used-car sales as a means of filling the void left by a decrease in demand for new vehicles.
Are dealers confident?
A recent survey conducted by Close Brothers found that 92% of car dealers said that they were confident of their business prospects in 2018, which is a significant rise from 63% in the previous survey. As a result, it’ll be interesting to see how the motor trade performs in 2018.
4-year initial MOT test?
Proposals to try and increase the 3-year initial MOT test to 4-years have been scrapped by the Department for Transport due to fears about road safety. This is down to concerns being raised that this could cost customers more in the long term in vehicle repairs and have a damaging effect on the UK’s road safety record. For motor traders, this brings an end to the uncertainty on this proposal.
Your motor trade insurance
As your business evolves with the changing times, as could your motor trade insurance needs. Whether your insurance is due for renewal or not, it could be worth taking the time to review your cover to ensure that it meets your current business requirements.