BVRLA claims victory in Block Exemption battle
The guidelines provide unequivocal confirmation that leasing companies should be treated as the economic owners and end users of vehicles in the eyes of motor manufacturers and their distribution chains.
This end user status will protect leasing companies’ freedom of choice when sourcing vehicles and means that they do not have to provide a customer mandate when ordering them. As a result, leasing firms will also be able to keep their customer details confidential.
The new guidelines will come into effect when the motor trade’s current block exemption relating to the sale and distribution of motor vehicles expires on 1 June 2013.
The aftersales market is also addressed by the new guidelines, which will help preserve car owners’ freedom of choice in getting their vehicles repaired and serviced, whether it is with a franchised dealer, brand specialist or independent garage. This aspect of the guidelines will be applied from 1 June 2010, when the EC’s new block exemption regulations on the aftersales market takes effect.
'These guidelines will secure the leasing industry’s long-term status as end-users,' said BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis.
'They acknowledge the vital part leasing companies play in ensuring a competitive marketplace and will enable them to continue to deliver a wide choice of vehicles that match their customers’ needs.
'This result is the culmination of more than three years of hard campaigning work, researching the market and lobbying European Commission officials and MEPs.'