UK new car registrations declined -6.7% last month, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reflecting a tough environment for businesses and consumers as economic and political uncertainty continues to impact confidence.

On the positive side however, electrified cars continue to grow in popularity. Hybrid electric cars increased by a considerable +28.9%, and battery electric vehicle registrations almost tripled, up +151.8%.

A large proportion of these new vehicles are purchased on finance plans. New figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that new business in the point of sale (POS) consumer car finance market grew 3% by volume and 5% by value in Q3 2019 with the percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members through the POS was 91.1% in the twelve months to September 2019.

A review of the motor finance sector conducted by the FCA, published on the 4th March 2019 highlighted a number of areas for lenders and brokers to consider whether they need to review or amend their policies and procedures and associated systems and controls. The FCA also outlined that further supervisory activity is being undertaken and that there is a future potential for enforcement action.

VAS Dealer Oversight Audit

Darren Gilham, Head of VAS said “Given the current market conditions in Retail and Wholesale, our services offering is more important than ever for funders in both the Captive and Independent marketplace. We are delight to be able to offer the new ‘Dealer Oversight Audit’ service to the industry, taking advantage of our extensive field audit team combined with our best in class SMART technology solution.”


With the overall economic condition and the issues around cashflow caused by Brexit there is a risk of disruption to the balance and the importance of holding stock, this coupled with the FCA’s highly publicised report is prompting a number of funders review and consider their position in terms of their oversight and control of their dealer networks.

To support industry partners with the latest FCA findings, Vehicle & Asset Solutions (VAS) now provide and independent ‘Dealer Oversight Audit’ to proactively identify and minimise risk in this area to ensure they remain compliant and to safeguard the professional reputation of funders and dealers.

Vehicle & Asset Solutions, established in 1991, is a business partner in the provision of outsourced audit services on behalf of independent and captive funders.  With long standing relationships with the majority of manufacturer captive funders as well as the leading independent banks and finance houses, VAS service a broad spectrum of asset classes including Motor, Commercial, Marine, Leisure, Agriculture and Industrial Equipment throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Utilising their versatile SMART platform, VAS provide independent ‘Floor Plan’ audits for the verification of stock together with the ‘eyes and ears’ of their national network of field auditors field, reported through an easily navigated and user-friendly suite of reports and dashboards. 

For funders requiring a different approach to the standard floor plan audit, VAS also supply ‘Self Audit’ solution which provides the option of supplying a dealer network the technology to conduct self-inventory checks.  Funders can request audits on demand which is visible in real-time through the SMART audit dashboard.

The SMART application also supports vehicle verification though Near Field Communication (NFC) as well as image capture of the vehicle identification number (VIN).  GPS fixes are taken at the time of audit to verify the exact location of every asset, enabling continuous monitoring of an asset’s location, with automatic warning flags indicating possible mis-use, including sales out of trust.

The SMART platforms continual trending of key risk metrics enables funders to manage risk in an efficient way using automatic warning flags which can identify dealers at risk of distress. In the unfortunate event that a dealer’s business should fail, it is vital that the assets are secured and removed without delay.

Together with their partner Wilsons Auctions, the largest independent recovery auction house in the UK and Ireland, they supply a national vehicle recovery service.  A range of options are available to protect funders including securing the assets and operating a ‘key control’ process, removing assets to secure storage and upon instructions delivery to a nominated auction house.