Car Dealers just want to sell cars

I joined The Compliance Guys around six weeks ago with almost zero knowledge of the FCA and the motor trade but throughout this whirlwind period of annual returns, social media monitoring, firm detail checks and much, much more this has drastically changed.

The best thing I was told over this time and the one thing that keeps coming back to me, however, was something that was said to me within five minutes of arriving to the office on my first day – Car dealers just want to sell cars.

The simplistic nature of this is by design, in the motor trade the easier we can make the lives of the dealers we work with, the happier they will be. They don’t want to spend their days working through the maze of the FCA systems or reading up through the handbooks for financial promotion compliance, they just want to sell cars, and the more time we can give them to do this the better. So, although every email may as well start with ‘I know it’s a pain but…’ as we navigate the FCA systems and translate their jargon, the time and effort we do save dealers was obvious to me straight away.

I think the key to avoiding the big bad FCA coming after you is a proactive not reactive approach and with the constant pressure those in the motor trade are under this is extremely difficult so being given simplified, direct and genuine advice from The Compliance Guys and only being bothered when absolutely necessary I think is the greatest benefit we are able to provide. After all, car dealers just want to sell cars.

For me personally, the appreciation of knowing how much value you’ve added to their business and the genuine thanks you receive across the board from all dealers means the job satisfaction in this role is extremely high, especially compared to previous roles I’ve been in and I’m excited to gain expertise in areas I didn’t even know existed back in August.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the FCA and continuing to help and find new ways to add value to the businesses we work with in the future, seeing more of how they operate and what they need and catering our work to them. The variety of work is great, the fact there is still so much more to learn about the FCA is exciting and I can carry on letting car dealers just sell cars.

Ryans Blog

At the time that I applied to become one of the guys at the compliance guys, I didn’t know what to expect, I had just graduated with an accounting and finance degree and my only other work experience had been in retail and restaurants, so this was a completely new experience for me. But as I began to learn more about the role and the company, I realised that this could be the start of something great.

When I first joined the compliance guys team and began training, I got my first real introduction to compliance, the role and all I had to learn seemed overwhelming, from the different FCA guidelines to CONC’s unreadable format, it seemed like I would never understand compliance and was destined to fail.

But slowly things started to slot into place as I went through training and talked through the procedures with the team, I slowly began to feel more and more confident and comfortable with the role.

During my short time with the company so far, I feel like I have gained an immense amount of knowledge regarding compliance and how the company works, and I feel like I have progressed faster than I thought was possible.

I would say a big reason I have been able to progress like this is down to how friendly and helpful the rest of the team is, if I have any questions or doubts, I can look to them for clarification.

One of the first major tasks I was given alone was to produce training documents which could be used in the future for new employees. In order to do this, I catered the material I created around the way which I learn best which is repetition.

So, with this in mind I created a step-by-step guide that details how to perform 6 of the most common tasks required in this role, so that new employees in the future will have something to refer to if they get stuck rather than having to always ask for help.

While I feel I have progressed and learned a lot in the short time which I have been in this role so far, I recognise that there is so much more to learn when it comes to compliance, and it will take me many years to be completely confident in this field. But as a person who loves to learn and better myself this is a process that excites me, and I look forward to seeing what I can achieve with the Compliance Guys.


Ryanvir Lidhar

Compliance Administrator

The Compliance Guys
Sugar and spice, the FCA are not always nice!

It’s common knowledge that The Compliance Guys as a company are Caring Not Scaring, dealing with the FCA on the other hand can be a somewhat daunting experience for some! Put your fears aside and allow me to explain..

Once you receive the good news on your FCA approval, of course, it will be onwards and upwards from here. You will have already shown your willingness and organisation skills for us to put forward your application, therefore business can now start to flourish. But first, annual returns? Annual firm details checks? Financial promotions? What are these things you must stay on top of? It can often get a bit too much and confusing to say the least.

My role for the past 8 months in a nutshell, has been to ensure that everyone’s FCA requirements are being accommodated, not only in an effective manner but most importantly; timely. I have built great relationships with our customers since my time here and it really motivates me seeing the great feedback. My mission is to serve our customers’ needs in the best possible way. The Compliance Guys are second to none when it comes to service!

In 2016 alone, fines were issued by the FCA which exceeded £22.2m. The FCA are known to stick a fine on your account if the above requirements are not submitted on time. I am a perfectionist and love nothing more than seeing positive results. I have a large number of happy customers who have put their faith in me to take care of their ongoing compliance and have been delighted in the fact that they have not had to waste time of their own, meaning that they have been able to drive their own businesses forward.

Team work really does make the dream work. FCA deadlines can often be stressful, my outlook is to provide a seamless service for our customers and deliver each time. Without my team, this of course would not be possible and I am appreciative of all of their hard work and efforts.

Undoubtedly, there is much more to being FCA authorised than hitting deadlines, this is just one of the things I take care of. I always provide ongoing support and information on what else we offer in order to support you and your business. If you are someone who regularly advertises finance online via social media or a website, this is something that I often oversee to ensure that you are getting the most out of your licence and of course for your business. Our focus is not solely ensuring you remain compliant, we are far from the compliance police! We understand your needs and are always happy to offer sound advice with regular website and social media monitoring which actually helps you sell more by offering actionable advice as well as ensuring compliance.

As we near the end of the year, I look back on my own progression as well as the company’s and how far we have all come on this journey. Living by the values we set really does have an impact on how we deliver business in comparison to the rest of the market.

Klassify Declassified

Walking through the door as a new employee of The Compliance Guys on 2nd August and being told that the development of a company’s prize possession was in my hands was a bit a daunting. 

With experience in working with many poor compliance systems in a previous role, I had ideas but knew it would take time to find out how the system works, how it could be improved and get to grips with who exactly was meant to be using the system and the why they weren’t.

My first impression of Klassify was that it looked ‘the business’, there were a few bugs but nothing that couldn’t be sorted. But the main thing I noticed was that only two motor dealers from the twelve that were enrolled were using it, and they weren’t using it the way they should be!

Once I had established that the main reason for dealers not using the system yet was that they didn’t remember their log ins, I went about sending them their details and trying to find out what they wanted to see from the system. One thing that stood out was that everyone wanted a simple to use system that kept them compliant but didn’t interfere with a simple sales process that ensures customers and staff are happy and fully engaged. Once I had shown each dealer the process from setting the customer up to sending out the invoice, they all remarked on how easy it was to use. 


With each dealer, there has always been new feedback but only to add little details such as search bars on the dashboard to show how many sales/how much commission/Average APR over a certain period and the layout of the invoice.

Dealers have been impressed with the ease of how to use the video-based compliance training system within Klassify for all their staff and the amount of compliance documents available to them at the click of the mouse.

Whilst providing support and advice to each user, in the background the system developer was working hard on the main showpiece of Klassify, The Test Drive app.

Enabling dealers to start their sales process with a picture of the customers driving licence, it helps with logs of test drives and transfers information over to Klassify ready for when a sale or finance application needs to be processed.

An application of this magnitude didn’t come without its teething problems but after trialling it between colleagues and some early adopter dealers, it was ready to launch to the masses. Again, the feedback has been fantastic with users impressed with how the scanning function works and how quick the process is. 

These businesses now have a tool that compliments their customer journey and adds value rather than putting up barriers to sale.

With 40 dealers now added to the system, nearly 100 individual users and over 350 customers served compliantly, this is just the start of the Klassify journey as we continue to listen to what our dealers need. 

Watch this space as we move into the new year with finance processing integrations and broker/retailer/contract hire versions of Klassify on the horizon.

FCA Authorisation

There are many questions to be answered about FCA Authorisation, over time we hope to answer them all in these blogs. So, let’s start with the question we get asked the most…

Do I need FCA Authorisation?

In almost all cases, yes. The most common exclusions are if you are offering less than 12 payments over less than 12 months and charge no interest or if you are only selling to limited companies, so our two biggest customers are retailers and automotive dealers – you will need to be authorised.

Once you’re authorised, you will have annual fees to pay, this fee for the average car dealer is around £160 per annum, but this is going to rise to £350 per annum, your FCA licence doesn’t expire, but it can be revoked!!  if you fail to pay your ongoing fee’s and file your reports then this will happen… but hey!! That’s why you’ll get us to do it for you.

There are a few different ‘levels’ of FCA Licence available, but if you’re a motor dealer or retailer, you will need FCA permissions for credit broking, and more often than not you will need ‘Limited Permissions’.

We always get asked how long will it take for my licence to be authorised? The FCA state for a standard Limited Permission Licence it can take up to six months, however for The Compliance Guys Ltd clients, the average is around three to four weeks if everything is correct.

Appointed Representatives (AR’s)

An appointed representative (AR) is a firm or person who runs regulated activities and acts as an agent for a firm we directly authorise. This firm is known as the ARs ‘principal’. There must be a written contract between the principal and the AR documenting the arrangement

Appointed Representatives are not authorised by the FCA. Instead, they are registered with the FCA by an authorised firm that, in this case us ‘The Compliance Guys Ltd’ or as the FCA call that firm a ‘Principal’.

We ‘The Principle’ would allow the AR to facilitate in finance much like you would if you was directly authorised, many firms like comfort of being an appointed representative as they can learn more about what’s needed by having their Principle close at hand, you can pick the phone up to us and ask questions whenever you like and get a straight answer (something that’s a lot more difficult with the FCA); retailers or automotive dealers have a bit of an advantage too…what I hear you cry? Well, the partnerships we have in place at The Compliance Guys means, that if you commit to a certain amount of paid out deals each month, we have brokers in place who will subsidise your AR status! Yes, you could have The Compliance Guys as your Principle, one of the best brokers in the UK as your supplier and pay a vastly discounted rate each month or nothing!!

Being an Appointed Representative agent under The Compliance Guys you would also have full access to our bespoke compliance system ‘Klassify’, Klassify will help with your ongoing responsibilities, keep your sales process slick and lean, we’ve even given you invoicing and training, along with several other automated processes, enabling you to be regulated and compliant.