24
April
2017

Why use an approved taxi supplier?

Do your research and choose an approved supplier

Why use an approved taxi supplier?

We work hard to build long term relationships with the main vehicle manufacturers because having ‘approved supplier’ status protects our own customers: the UK’s taxi drivers.

What does ‘approved supplier’ mean?

In the taxi trade, full approval from Vauxhall, Ford, Hyundai and the like means that they have carefully vetted a taxi supplier, checking its viability, commercial strength and business processes. Crucially this also includes its coachbuilding credibility (how vehicle conversions such as wheelchair accessibility, tail-lifts and so on are done). Questions they ask include:

  • Does this taxi supplier have a strong financial basis to trade?
  • Is it FCA registered?
  • Can we check its supply chain?
  • Does it have robust business processes to protect its customers?

Only when all the boxes are ticked do we get the official seal of approval from the manufacturer.

Check the credibility of your dealer

When you’re looking for a new taxi it pays to find out whether your supplier is manufacturer-approved. The Taxi Shop’s Josh Rhynas explains:

“Without proper dealer accreditation you may come unstuck if you have a warranty claim. For example, if your vehicle was converted for wheelchair use by a non-approved supplier, if you make a claim under warranty, you will very likely be refused. Why? Because work done by unapproved suppliers may not be covered by warranty.”

In recent weeks it has been revealed that some suppliers in the taxi trade are selling vehicles via manufacturer dealerships, yet they are no longer manufacturer-approved. This means they are selling vehicles piecemeal, one by one, and without the full backing of the manufacturer.

Your business is in danger if you buy via the ‘back door’

Taxi drivers and fleet buyers should be very wary of dodgy dealers as they can leaves you vulnerable if there is a problem with the vehicle. The Taxi Shop’s Rob Breuilly explains:

“We make massive bulk purchases direct from the manufacturers. Yes, this means we can negotiate prices that others can’t match; but crucially the special relationships we’ve built up over the years give us leverage should things go wrong with a vehicle.”

We are one of only TWO Vauxhall-approved suppliers in the UK

“Vehicles bought without the manufacturer’s stamp of approval—whether it's Ford, Vauxhall, Mercedes or any of the big car-makers—are known as 'back door vehicles' in the trade. They are purchased improperly, and effectively defraud the manufacturer, which can mean manufacturers take a very dim view of warranty claims. That’s why we always say ‘Buy Safe’ from an approved supplier.”

“My warranty is safe because my servicing is up to date.”

Not necessarily. If your vehicles was bought illegitimately you may well have problems. Unfortunately, we see this time and again. We sell our customer’s vehicles purchased direct from the manufacturer. This way, if a customer has an issue with a new vehicle or is struggling with a warranty claim, we can liaise directly with the manufacturer to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. A dealer purchasing through the back door doesn't have any contact with the manufacturer. There are many advantages of purchasing your taxi through an approved taxi supplier.

When warranties go wrong

Buying via the back door doesn’t necessarily void warranties. But Vauxhall (or Ford, Mercedes, Hyundai and so on) will certainly have a very strong case should they choose to fight any warranty work. Josh Rhynas:

“Here’s a typical example of how back door sales can go very wrong. Let’s say the vehicle was converted for wheelchair access for a hackney licence. There was a claim made under warranty. The first thing the manufacturer says to the driver or owner is 'we won't be carrying out any warranty work as the vehicle has been changed and adapted by a coachbuilder'. But, because the minibus was purchased by an approved supplier here at The Taxi Shop we were able to contact the manufacturer to resolve the issue in short order. How? We are an approved supplier, authorised by the manufacturer to make high quality coachbuilt conversions to their products. They trust our workmanship and have checked out how we make these conversions.”

A non-approved dealer would struggle to make any headway with the manufacturer in this example. For the taxi driver or firm this process can be gruelling with no guarantee of a successfully claim (and all the while your vehicle is off the road). Always use an approved taxi supplier.

Categories: Opinion