The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) have launched a new protocol to help ensure that motor finance works better for service personnel who are deployed overseas.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge by the nation that those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether regular or reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Businesses are encouraged voluntarily to sign the Covenant, and to make specific pledges to beneficiaries, whether these are customers or employees. Further information on the Covenant is available here.

Service personnel account for about 0.4% of the economically active UK population and, of these, typically less than 6% are serving overseas. Germany, the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus, Gibraltar and Belgium currently account for the majority of overseas postings. These are locations where it is usually appropriate for service personnel to take their vehicle.

Service personnel seek, and are eligible for, motor finance in much the same way as the rest of the UK population. However, unlike much of the rest of the population, service personnel are liable to be redeployed mandatorily, including overseas, on a regular basis, and the destination of the redeployment is rarely known significantly in advance. Unless this is taken into account in how motor finance agreements are operated, this can have costly consequences for both service personnel and motor finance providers.

Consistent with the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, the purpose of this Protocol is to ensure that service personnel face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the sale and operation of motor finance agreements. To that end, the signatories to this Protocol undertake to use their best endeavours to ensure that the commitments contained in it are followed by those they work with and represent.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commented:

“Franchised dealers strive to ensure all customers receive the highest level of service and the NFDA are extremely pleased to sign up to the new Armed Forces protocol.

"The new protocol will allow dealers to build on their existing standards of service by offering bespoke financial support and solutions for our armed service personnel.”

Download the full Armed Forces Protocol Covenant HERE

Download the full press release HERE