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Marshall, Inchcape and Sytner have become the first major motor retailers to sign up to the new Dealer Standard from the Association of Fleet Operators (AFP).

The 28-point accreditation – launched at the end of February – is designed to ensure that fleet cars and vans are delivered in excellent condition to the end user, who is then shown the fundamentals of how to operate the vehicle and always treated courteously.

Paul Hollick, chair at the AFP, said: “We’ve been very pleased with the initial response to the launch of the Dealer Standard and to have three such large and well-respected motor retailers become part of the initiative so quickly is very gratifying.

“Our intention was always that the Standard should become used right across the industry by all dealers that work with fleets and the commitment of these organisations represents an excellent start towards that objective.”

He added that a number of other major dealer groups had also expressed a strong interest in joining the programme and their names would be announced as they signed up in the coming weeks.

“Furthermore, we are also talking to a number of vehicle leasing companies who are keen on making the standard part of the obligations of their preferred dealer supplier networks, which would create substantial additional momentum”

Marshall served as part of the consultancy process when the AFP was creating the Dealer Standard, and Zoe Lawson, head of corporate sales, said that they were delighted to now commit to its requirements.

“From the outset, we believed that this was an excellent idea that would help to ensure that fleet customers across the motor industry received an excellent level of service and we’re very happy to now be part of the scheme following its launch.”

Motor retailers who are interested in joining the Dealer Standard should visit www.theafp.co.uk/afp-dealer-standard/ or e-mail administration@theafp.co.uk for further details. On committing to meet its requirements, they pay a fee and become a member of the AFP. The Dealer Standard logo can then be used in marketing materials and tenders to promote their participation in the programme.

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