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Safe and Sound 18 months on…

This time last year, a high-value motoring package called Safe and Sound was beginning to emerge into the motor trade that was to fulfill buyer requirements and install confidence, whilst allowing dealers to set themselves apart from their fellow competitors – and ensure that they could cement the first stage in the customer care cycle.

Rewind to late 2010, when we’d asked a few hundred of our policy holders what they wanted from a car dealership. The results were staggering: 63% said that they expected a minimum of six month’s car warranty that was worth the paper it was written on, whilst almost 44% put car safety at the top of their requirements. Boot space, car insurance premiums and fuel economy were also amongst the top five.  With the demand there, the basis of Safe and Sound could be formed – but we quickly realised that scheme needed more elements that would tick every box for peace of mind. Over time, Safe and Sound had developed into a complete motoring scheme which today incorporates:

  • A 60 point safety inspection to rule out any accident causing defects;
  • Provenance check which ensures it doesn’t have a hidden past;
  • Six month wear and tear car warranty which covers all of the mechanical and electrical items against expensive repair bills;
  • Six month UK rescue and recovery which includes home and roadside repairs and assistance, plus onward destination;
  • Mileage verification to ensure that the vehicle hasn’t been clocked
  • Independent valuation which shows that you’re paying a fair price
  • Buy-back promise, meaning that they guarantee to buy the vehicle back from you, regardless of its age, mileage and condition which can be used as a part exchange.

Our marketing manager Steph Colinswood comments: “The dealer network got off to a slow start to begin with, simply because dealers thought it was too good to be true, which took a lot of convincing otherwise – and as our geographic coverage was sparse, they couldn’t see how other dealers were using it to attract new customers. But eventually word began to spread, and dealers recognised that it really was the ultimate motoring package which would take care of their customer’s concerns before and after the handover.

“Surprisingly, we found that ladies played a prominent role in the car buying process, with 67% of men surveyed telling us that their spouse was the main purseholder. Our aim was to create a scheme that would empower buyers and take care of their concerns, so that they could concentrate on selecting the right model,” she continues.

The icing on the cake was when Stirling Moss later agreed to endorse the scheme, as he truly believed we had a great product to offer car buyers and that was going to be good for the industry.  We currently have around 100 dealers using the scheme, but the network is growing daily and we are also in talks with several large franchises and manufacturers about rolling out the scheme across their branches in the very near future. Last year we were also able to develop other products backed by Sir Stirling in-line with the Safe and Sound brand, including our SmartShine paint and fabric protection, MOT cover and Guaranteed Asset Protection.

So what’s next for Safe and Sound and the WMS Group? “We want to continue building the dealer network, and make sure that Safe and Sound is the first choice for car buyers,” comments Steph. “Many dealers have told us that they’ve seen an uplift in footfall due to our consumer-facing marketing campaign, with an increased number of vehicle sales which can be attributed to the scheme. The feedback we have had from buyers too tells us that they have been so impressed with ‘Safe and Sound and the service provided by the dealer that they have recommended them to their peers, which is great to hear and means we must be doing it right!”

Registered office: The WMS Group Ltd,
Oxford House, Oxford Road, Thame, Oxon OX9 2AH
01844 293 810