What is the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)?
The Institute of the Motor Industry is a government endorsed industry body that plays a vital role in developing and maintaining a skilled and competent professional workforce in the automotive industry.
Accreditation will enable the industry to acknowledge the high level of experience and professionalism that already exists. On top of that, the professional register will allow customers to confirm the person they’re dealing with is qualified to provide the advice they’re giving.
To deliver this, we have partnered with the IMI to bring you the Finance & Insurance Accreditation pathway – Developing F&I excellence.
Benefits of accreditation
Those gaining IMI Accreditation will receive:
- An IMI Accredited certificate
- Inclusion in the IMI Professional Register
- Post nominal membership (MIMI) for one year
- Industry-wide recognition of their skills and abilities
Consumer attitudes to car finance - an in depth research analysis.
ALPHERA commissioned an independent consumer survey among 1,035 motorists across the UK and not specifically BMW Group customers.
The aim of the survey was to achieve deeper insight into consumers’ behaviours when buying car finance. Consumer trends and demands constantly change and are massively influenced by macroeconomic, social and political factors. Developing a good understanding of customer attitudes, behaviours and preferences is crucial to ensuring they have a positive experience when purchasing a car on finance.
The results of this survey have been enlightening, and can be summarised as follows:
(1) Two thirds of motorists are unaware of dealer obligations in the sale of car finance
- There’s a lack of consumer knowledge on what information to request from dealers
- Data suggests a high potential for mis-selling of F&I products
- There’s a clear need to improve customer knowledge, trust and satisfaction
(2) Customers can be ambivalent towards discussing car finance
- 71% say discussing preferred choice of paint colour is of same or greater importance than discussing car finance
- Dealers need to make car finance as easy to understand as the more ‘exciting’ elements of a car purchase
- Dealers need to better engage buyers in transparent sale of finance products
(3) 4 out of 5 consumers would be more likely to buy from a salesperson accredited to sell car finance
- Buyers believe an industry qualification could reduce risk of being mis-sold car finance
- Proportion increases among women and those aged between 17 and 24
Seeking to build on standards across the industry and provide visibility of the quality that already exists, ALPHERA is supporting a new accreditation scheme for finance and insurance (F&I) sales specialists from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). This is a significant step towards establishing consistently high standards and self-regulation of quality to support compliance. An accreditation pathway, robustly assessed and backed by the IMI, will give the customer the confidence they need to trust our industry in everything we do.
The findings from the consumer survey have underlined the need to improve standards across the industry and enhance transparency in the sale of car finance. To this end, Alphera has been supporting the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) on the introduction of its new accreditation scheme for F&I sales specialists. This is a significant step towards establishing consistently high standards in the sale of finance products, helping dealers to improve customer satisfaction and confidence in the transaction process.
For ALPHERA, it was critical that the new accreditation scheme complemented the highly respected and established Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) programmes from the FLA, enabling a practical application of skills and knowledge in addition to theoretical learning platforms. All participants will need to have passed and retain the standard SAF competence test on an annual basis before they can complete the IMI F&I Accreditation. The SAF programme developed by the FLA is a well-established and highly respected qualification that everyone in the industry ought to have. This joined up approach is a significant step towards establishing consistently high standards in the sale of finance products, with success measured in how the industry embraces and supports the idea of accreditation. Ultimately, F&I can be simple and clear. It is our collective role to help ensure that relevant staff have the confidence to present products properly. This ‘common standard’ approach will demonstrate to the FCA, and our shared customers, that the motor industry is worthy of its confidence.