Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) provides knowledge-based motor finance learning to boost customer confidence in motor finance and increase professionalism.
Specialist automotive finance (SAF) was launched in 2007 by the finance and leasing association. It has created a pathway for the staff of all levels to learn.
Over 34,000 motor industry employers are registered to take the SAF test. Over 2000 UK showrooms are Specialist Automotive Finance approved.
How does Motor finance work? In specialist automotive finance there are usually three parties involved to set up the finance. The customer: they will usually pay a deposit or make advance payments, they will also be asked to sign a credit agreement, they will then be allowed to take the vehicle away and use it providing they make the agreed monthly payments to the finance provider.
The retailer: they will sell the vehicle and sort the finance at the point of sale; it will also be down to the retailer to invoice the finance provider.
And lastly the finance provider: they will pay out the money to the retailer for the vehicle and takes ownership, they will take the monthly payments from the customer throughout the agreement.
There are different types of finance available; these will depend on the customers’ requirements and preferences.
Car dealerships that sell finance act as a “broker” for car finance provider. Most will work with several different finance providers to obtain the best finance for the range of customers they serve.
With specialist automotive finance, the customer will repay the finance provider, these repayments will include interest and sometimes fees. The rate of interest paid by each customer will vary depending on each customers circumstance (for example if a customer has a good or bad credit rating and how likely it is that they will repay the debt)
Specialist automotive finance can come in various forms such as Hire purchase, personal contract purchase, contract hire and finance lease.
Specialist automotive finance is an industry-standard, but not a mandated qualification. It provides recognition for firms whereby all of their customer-facing staff who are involved in the sale of vehicle finance have passed the specialist automotive finance test.
There are three types of specialist automotive finance: SAF Essentials, SAF Expert and SAF Advanced.