AutoTrader UK takes stance for price transparency

13 Sep 2017

AutoTrader.co.uk, Britain’s biggest auto classified, is implementing new measures to improve transparency and build consumer confidence. The latest is a warning to auto dealers who fail to add their administration fees to the selling prices of the vehicles they list.

This follows on a partnership with reviews brand Trustpilot, which increased the number of reviews available to AutoTrader users.

AutoTrader posted an announcement regarding the administration fees on its dealer site, according to Car Dealer Magazine. It informed that while the majority of advertisers included their admin fees in their listed selling prices, the number of advertisers who referred to admin fees in the advertisement without adding the fees in their selling prices is climbing. AutoTrader warned dealers it will “remove ads that are reported for not including the admin fees in the full vehicle prices”. This will happen within the next few weeks, to comply with the U.K.’s Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations and to improve transparency.

“This will make it easier for consumers to find the cars they are looking for at the prices they want to pay, and for other customers [dealers] that already price properly, to be represented fairly in the search.”

Open and honest pricing is essential to consumer trust. This is especially important given the recent AutoTrader deal with leading reviews brand Trustpilot. The partnership will make “tens of thousands” of dealership and vehicle reviews (new and historic) available to AutoTrader users.

Speaking to Car Dealer, AutoTrader’s retailer and consumer product director Karolina Edwards-Smajda said: “Impartial dealer reviews can be incredibly influential for consumers when searching for their next cars …. We now have more than 6,000 dealers with 350,000 reviews on our marketplace… Trustpilot will further enhance the buying experience for consumers on Auto Trader [and] help our dealer customers convert site visits to forecourt visits.”

That only works, if reviews are positive. So, it makes sense for AutoTrader and the dealers to focus on improving the purchase experience. As a consumer, being quoted one price, then being hit with hidden fees, is both an insult and an injury. Doing away with shady pricing can only benefit all parties in the transaction.

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Cila Warncke

Cila joined AIM Group in 2014 as writer/analyst for Spain. An Anglo-American living in Ibiza, she brings extensive international writing and consulting experience to the role. Educated at University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Glasgow University (MLitt), she has worked for wide range of consumer and B2B publications and companies in Europe and the USA, writing on topics ranging from marketing to travel to music to ultra-marathoning. She uses her writing, research and analytical skills to help clients tell their stories, grow their business, reach new audiences, build loyalty and exploit new media channels. Cila is also an award-winning essayist, creative writer and founder of Creative Writing Ibiza.