Sussex-based Andrew Shipp Motors has become the first dealer to include the recently-introduced RAC Electric Vehicle Warranty as standard with all elgible used electric car sales.

The long-established retailer, based in the village of Cowfold, near Horsham in Sussex, is shifting emphasis to become an electric vehicle (EV) specialist, and sees the dedicated warranty - designed by Assurant, the RAC’s partner in the aftersales sector - as a method of providing a high level of reassurance for customers.

Andrew Shipp, who has more than 40 years of experience in the used car sector, explained: “We keep around 30 cars in stock at any one time. At the moment, probably a quarter of them are EVs and we are aiming to increase that proportion quickly. The market is obviously moving in this direction and we want to be at the forefront of that change.

“Most of the people who come to us are buying their first EV and, to some extent, it is a leap of faith for them. They may not know anyone who runs an EV and they are spending a lot of money on a technology that, although widely proven, is new to them and is very different from a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle in a number of ways.

“That’s why we have decided to adopt the RAC Electric Vehicle Warranty for these cars. The presence of the RAC name brings a strong confidence factor for these buyers plus the fact that this is a dedicated, specially-designed EV warranty brings an extra layer of comfort.”

 Shipp explained that the EVs he sells usually have the balance of the manufacturer’s long-term battery warranty, and that the RAC product is supplied in addition to this.

“Most EV battery warranties are around eight years in length, so there is little to be gained by providing additional time. Instead, the RAC warranty covers all of the key components in the EV drivetrain and charge system with the exception of the batteries, as well as the other general items that you’d normally see in the highest level of the RAC’s standard internal combustion engine warranty range. It delivers a very comprehensive level of protection.”

The RAC Electric Vehicle Warranty was introduced in late 2020 and can be applied to used EV or hybrid vehicles of any kind up to a maximum of eight years old and with 80,000 miles on the clock at the time of purchase. Cover can be for a variety of periods up to 24 months and up to a limit of the vehicle purchase price. 

Kellie Grocott, RAC director of sales at Assurant, said: “The creation of the RAC Electric Vehicle Warranty is a very timely development with EVs and hybrids - especially plug-ins - starting to appear on the used market in larger numbers and, for the first time really, outside of franchise dealer networks 

“There is massive public interest in these vehicles but used car customers tend to be quite conservative in their buying choices. The EV warranty provides a really comprehensive level of cover and can give drivers moving away from petrol and diesel power more confidence to do so.

“We believe that the warranty could play a key part in building consumer confidence in EVs and hybrids across the market in a general sense, as Andrew Shipp recognises, helping to foster their acceptance as an attractive choice in the used car sector.

“As demand for EVs and hybrids grows, car buyers are going to expect dealers to offer them as part of their stock mix, and the new warranty provides a cornerstone for innovative sales propositions for these kinds of vehicles. We are giving dealers the support that they need by providing them with products that meet changing customer requirements.”