What is changing?
FLA members, who make up the vast majority of UK vehicle finance providers, have agreed a new provision that has been added to the FLA's Lending Code. The Lending Code outlines various contractual obligations lenders have as FLA members (conditions of membership). One new provision, which aims to further raise industry professional standards and support compliance with the FCA’s new Consumer Duty, is that FLA members can only arrange finance through intermediaries (dealers and brokers) that are SAF Approved or ones accredited under an equivalent training and competence scheme.
What are the timescales?
Franchised dealers and brokers arranging finance on new or used vehicles will be required to become SAF Approved or equivalent by 1 January 2023.
Independent used vehicle dealers will be required to become SAF Approved or equivalent by 1 January 2025.
If you are already SAF Approved, we will contact you to obtain a copy of your SAF Approved certificate.
If you are using SAF but are not yet SAF Approved then you will need to ensure all customer facing staff involved in discussions (face to face, over the telephone or online) with customers on the subject of finance have passed the SAF Expert test. Once they have, you can apply for SAF Approved certification.
Once registered you will need to ensure all customer facing staff involved in discussions (face to face, over the telephone or online) with customers on the subject of finance have passed the SAF Expert test. Once they have you can apply for SAF Approved certification.
Using other finance training (SAF equivalent)?
If your firm is using alternative vehicle finance training that you or your training supplier believes to be equivalent to SAF Approved then the FLA will shortly be introducing a process to award equivalence status to that training. To ensure you or your training supplier receives details of the equivalence process and requirements as soon as they are available please notify the FLA by e-mailing
Further information on SAF Approved Equivalence can found here:
What is SAF?
The FLA introduced Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) in 2007 to help raise the standard of finance information provided in showrooms and online for the benefit of customers. SAF is currently entirely funded by FLA member finance companies who want to increase customer confidence in retail vehicle finance. There are over 40,000 industry staff registered to take the SAF Expert test. To supplement the Lending Code provision, further details are provided below.
Further FAQs about all elements of SAF can be accessed here
What is SAF Expert?
SAF Expert is online vehicle finance learning supported by an annual competency test for industry professionals. It provides learning on all of the key categories of products provided by finance firms and the regulations they, and other motor finance processes, are governed by. The training material and test is accredited by The London Institute of Banking & Finance.
For more information, please click here
What is SAF Approved?
SAF Approved provides certification to companies who have put all of their customer facing staff, involved in discussions with customers on vehicle finance, successfully through the SAF Expert test. It is an initiative primarily designed for intermediaries (dealers and brokers) to gain knowledge of vehicle finance, promote their expertise and credibility and give confidence to customers.
For further information please click here
A guide outlining how you can set up your company’s SAF account up is here
Questions and Answers outlining the new FLA requirements
Further information can be found on the FLA website at the following link: Q&A outlining new FLA requirements - is your dealership or brokerage SAF Approved? - Specialist Automotive Finance
Please contact your Account Manager should you require any further support or guidance.