The Independent Motor Dealers Association Celebrates its 5th Birthday

The Independent Motor Dealers Association celebrates its 5th Birthday on the 5th of November 2022 and as Autoscene discovered the association has come a long way since its formation in 2017

Formed in 2017 by six Independent Motor Dealers across the UK and an Industry expert the IMDA is now widely recognised as a respected and reputable association for Independent Car, LCV and Independent Franchised Dealers based in the UK.

Since its inception the association has grown to nearly 1000 members and has over 50 partners who provide its members with exclusive IMDA offers via their products and services.

Umesh Samani, Chairman of the IMDA said “What makes this association unique is that for Independent Motor Dealers to join it is absolutely free, and what’s more could actually save members money with the great products and service offers from our partners. All we ask is that the members are willing, to a minimum, follow the IMDA code of conduct which reflect the standards expected from members when conducting business with consumers, following the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) principle of Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) and the Consumer Rights Act 2015”

Autoscene asked the IMDA what some of their major achievements, benefits or successes had been to date for the association.

“Well firstly, would be the creation of the association itself to provide the independents dealers with a voice” said Samani.

“Other successes include during covid lockdown, we lobbied the government, successfully, for the right for commissioned sales staff on lower basics salaries to have their commission amount taken into consideration for furlough payments. We pushed the DVLA to also make changes to trade plate rules to allow unaccompanied test drives once dealer sites reopened, to minimise health risks, and with the support of our Motor Trade Insurance partner Aston Lark arranged cover for our members using their Insurance services for the unaccompanied test drives that were taken.

One major benefit that being a member of the association is the FREE legal advice provided to members by our partner Lawdata, members receive up to 2 hours free advice per annum and the team at Lawdata often share best practice with members, for example, correct procedures around the Distance Selling Regulations which saw an upturn during lockdown.

The fantastic IMDA Masterclasses have always been a great success , held around the country for the dealers to take part in, to benefit their business practises. These have included topics such as, Maximising Dealer Revenue, Social Media , Google Masterclasses and Electric Vehicle Learning. Its been great having them back after a couple of years and we look forward to putting them on again throughout 2023, so watch this space”

The launch of the IMDA Service Support Network has been a great tool which members can use for assistance around the country if they have an out of area sale with an unforeseen issue. This has over 150 supporting members on it and will continue to grow as the association does.

The association is now part of the UVIG (Used Vehicle Industry Group) run by the DVLA and attends regular meeting to provide its members with information and updates on any regulation or general changes, we also can help members out with urgent DVLA issues.

As of late last year the association now attends regular meetings with OZEV (Office for Zero Emission Vehicles) and is part of sector advisory groups to help engage Independent Motor Dealers in the used electric vehicle market as we move toward 2030”.

What recognition has the IMDA received?
The IMDA has become the voice for the Independent Motor Dealers and is often approached by the media channels, TV, Radio and Print to gain its thoughts on topics relevant to the independent automotive sector, most recently you may have seen the Chairman on “The One Show)

Whilst awards are not the reason the IMDA was created, its great to be recognised by the industry you work in and support. In 2020 the IMDA received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Motortrader Independent Dealer Awards, a great reflection we hope of the support the association is try to provide its peers Coming right up to date the IMDA committee has been asked to share their insight on “Facing the challenges and futureproofing the independent used car sector “at the 2022 Automotive Management Live at the NEC on the 10th of November, again another reflection as to how far the IMDA has come in a short space of time.

What do members and partners think of the IMDA?

“The IMDA are quite simply the voice of the independent motor dealer. We were very keen to join The IMDA as soon as it was established in 2017 and through this association ( free to join ) we have taken full advantage of free legal advice and exclusive offers available from the approved suppliers. You will also gain access to a UK network of independent motor dealers via the superb Facebook forum who help each other and you also have the opportunity to meet some of these like minded dealers from the fantastic masterclass’s organised.

My business is very proud to be a member of The IMDA and I encourage all independent motor dealers to apply for membership, a wonderful organisation that’s on your side.”

Martin Smallbone – Smallbone and Sons—Member

“The IMDA has long championed the independent dealer, and this has tied in to Aston Lark’s core beliefs of looking out for the ‘little guy’ – because of this, it made sense for us partner up with the IMDA 5 years ago, and we are immensely proud of helping them and its members go from strength to strength. As we all know, the motor trade industry is undergoing a transformation because of recent global events, which is going to make things harder for the independent dealer. This makes the IMDA even more important in assisting dealers, and we believe that they need as much support as possible to continue with their mission.”

Jem Emirali – Associate Director – Aston Lark – Partner

We feel it is important to be a partner of the IMDA because it helps us get our name and products to an important sector of the UK motor industry. In this our 30th year of trading we are keen to grow the business in this area. Our Diamondbrite Ceramic Paint and Interior Protection provides independent dealers with a great revenue and customer satisfaction opportunity. Being a member of the IMDA gives us credibility and the chance to reach and introduce our products to independent car dealers.

Lance Boseley – Marketing Director – Jewelultra – Partner

” The IMDA offers an voice for independent dealers nationwide, it was an fantastic move joining the IMDA for the dealer exclusive offers they have through their dealer partners and other dealers nation- wide who are very handy if any warranty issues need addressing Nationally.

Matt Ward – Voldi – Member

A fantastic association to be a part of, Great Professional advise and opinion from a huge array of like minded, fellow motor dealers. And the best part, its all completely free. Thanks a lot guys.

Steve Pearson – Member

The IMDA provide a valuable service to the motor trade. A place where like minded traders can take advantage of offers from certain suppliers or get help and assistance with any issue they may be experi- encing.

They have a very valuable dealer network as well, so if you have a car in a different part of the country that needs attention, you can locate the nearest IMDA member safe in the knowledge that they will share your same principals. And the best thing – it’s free to join if you are a motor dealer!

Jack Hartley – Member

The IMDA is essential if your in the motor trade. Fantastic organisation.

Irby Motors

Happy Birthday to the IMDA

Lawdata has been proud to support the IMDA since its inauguration five years ago. The independent motor trade had previously lacked a strong voice and we know how much members value the support the association provides.

Graham Jones—Lawdata

As you can see the IMDA gets great support from its members and partners alike and we look forward to continue seeing the association grow over the next 5 years and beyond.

If you’re an independent motor dealer and would like to join then its simple

If you’re a supplier and would like to become an IMDA partner to support our members then please get in touch via our “become a supplier” section on our website

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