The RAC Approved Dealer Network is expected to have up to 150 new dealers appointed this year, bringing the total to around 350.
However, finding the right dealers continues to be more important than outright quantity, explained Sean Kent, director, corporate and independent dealers.
He said: “Our approach from the launch of the Network has been to place quality first, ensuring that dealers share our commitment to a customer-focussed approach. Because of this, we enjoy very high levels of customer satisfaction, research shows.
“Even though we doubled the number of dealers in the Network during 2015, we will only ever expand at a rate defined by finding the right dealers with which to partner.”
Kent said that the Network was now moving towards genuine national coverage, although there were still some holes to fill.
“Most car buyers will now have a member of the Network within a reasonable distance but we do have areas where we would like to make more appointments, such as the West Midlands.”
He added that the RAC was also looking to increase the levels of marketing and other support that it offered to Network members during 2016.
“We ask dealers to meet very high standards in order to be part of the Network,” he said. “In return, they are allowed to use the RAC brand. We want to do more to help them make the most of that brand through tools such as our online marketing portal.”
Only RAC Approved Dealers can offer the RAC BuySure initiative. This is designed to provide customers with a nationwide approved used vehicle scheme that sets very high standards commensurate with the RAC brand and is open to all kinds of dealers including car supermarkets, independents and franchises.
RAC BuySure sees these dealers commit to an 82-point RAC Approved Preparation Standard on every vehicle, a vehicle data check, and a minimum of three months of RAC Warranty cover. In support of this, the RAC provides 12 months’ RAC breakdown cover and enrolment for the customer to RAC Accident Care at no extra cost.