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Fiat and Alfa Romeo to waive up to 7 MONTHS of car finance payments if customers lose their job in the next year due to the coronavirus pandemic

Fiat and Alfa Romeo have become the first car makers in the UK to offer to waive finance payments on new motors in the event the customer loses their job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a groundbreaking move, the Italian car giants have pledged to cover up to seven months of payments on its models at no cost to the driver.

Customers whose employment circumstances change during the first 12 months of the financial agreement will be eligible for the payment waiver under the Job Loss Protection scheme, it said.

Every new car financed or leased from 1 June until end of September will feature job loss protection.

The job loss protection can be activated during the first year of the finance or leasing agreement and up to seven payments will be covered by the finance provider - as long as the customer has deals with FCA Automotive Services and Leasys UK.


The decision is in response to research carried out by Alfa Romeo - which currently sells the Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV - that found almost one third of British motorists are interested in buying a new car but are concerned about their job security.

Arnaud Leclerc, managing director of FCA in the UK and Ireland, said: 'We know these are uncertain times, so what better way to support our customers than give them the reassurance that should their financial circumstances change in the months ahead, we will be there to cover their monthly car repayments.' 

The unprecedented offer will be available to all cars under the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Group banner, which in this country includes Fiat, Abarth, Jeep and Alfa Romeo.

Car dealerships will begin reopening on June 1 after the government began easing restrictions on the retail sector following March's total shutdown.

The survey of 2,000 motorists by Alfa Romeo found one in five had said the pandemic had so far stopped them buying a new or used car.

And four in 10 revealed concerns about entering a showroom due to Covid-19, with one fifth saying a safe buying process was one of the most important factors when considering buying a car.

But 62 per cent said they would road test a new car if they saw a professional cleaner disinfect the interior before they were allowed to drive it.

More than a third (36 per cent) also said they would consider buying a new car if the manufacturer covered finance payments as a result of them losing their job due to Covid-19

To ensure safety among staff and customers, all FCA-operated dealerships are undergoing a strict cleaning process and adhering to new guidelines created by the government, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the industry body for dealerships.

The unique finance payment protection, available in conjunction with selected products, covers involuntary job loss as well as customers who are unable to work due to sickness. 

Alex Hughes, managing director for FCA Automotive Services UK, added: 'We are really pleased to support our brand partners in launching this exciting new initiative.

'We are always keen to find innovative ways to address consumer needs, and we believe that this is the right customer offer at exactly the right time.' 

Last month the Financial Conduct Authority granted any driver with a finance arrangement in place on a car can access to a three-month payment freeze under temporary measures introduced due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Borrowers with Personal Contract Purchase or Personal Contract Hire car finance plans can request the payment freeze 'at any point' the city regulator states.

Finance companies should not take steps to end the agreement or repossess the vehicle during the payment freeze period and customers will be allowed to continue driving their cars, says the FCA.

It is believe UK drivers are borrowing some £48billion in car finance, with many struggling to keep up monthly repayments due to a loss of - or decline in - salary caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new measures came into force on 27 April and should come without strings attached, the authority states.

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