Primary Authority helps Arnold Clark improve customer relations

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Regulatory environment of the business

Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited operates across approximately 50 different local authorities in Scotland and England. Its Primary Authority partnership with Glasgow City Council assists the business greatly in helping to ensure that it operates in a compliant manner in all these areas.

The advice provided and how it is used

The relationship allows the business to react quickly and take actions promptly and results in the most efficient use of time and resources. The business seeks the guidance and knowledge of Glasgow City Council in relation to numerous matters including customer relations, changes to processes and procedures, introduction of new products, customer documentation and advertising and marketing.

The Primary Authority relationship involves Glasgow City Council monitoring and evaluating business operations and processes on an ongoing basis. Glasgow City Council also actively participates in making management throughout the business network aware of what they are required to do on a day-to-day basis to ensure the business remains compliant. In 2018 approximately 40 Arnold Clark Dealerships were visited and inspected by their partners in Glasgow City Council in addition to presentations being made to branch management.

Should a business-specific or industry-wide issue arise, the business knows it can seek the views and opinions of its Primary Authority partner. The relationship also helps the business to understand what it needs to do to remain complaint and what actions it needs to take to protect itself going forward.


The figures below show significant reductions in Citizens Advice Bureau and Consumer Direct complaints received relating to Arnold Clark in 2008 and 2018, a period in which the business more than doubled in size:

  • 2008 – 3,089 Complaints
  • 2018 – 1,849 Complaints / Reduction of 1,240 (40%)

Statistics relating to Q1 2019:

  • Q1 2018 – 488 Complaints
  • Q1 2019 – 411 Complaints / Reduction of 77 (16%)

Next steps

As Arnold Clark continues to expand into new geographical areas, Glasgow City Council will continue to be involved in introducing the business to relevant local authorities and informing them of how the partnership operates in terms of Trading Standards processes and procedures.

About Arnold Clark

The Arnold Clark business was founded over 60 years ago and the Group’s activities include the hiring, selling and servicing of motor vehicles. Its turnover in 2018 was £4.2 billion and it has over 220 branches across Scotland and England. It employs around 13,200 staff and represents 27 vehicle manufacturers.

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