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Why ICO Registration is Important for Dealers

Since the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force in May 2018 the data protection landscape has shifted. There is now much more responsibility placed on organisations to protect data they hold and use it responsibly.

There is also more awareness of this throughout the general public, so you may well have noticed an increase in people asking questions about how you use their information. We have also been made aware of online scams involving registers of non-compliance targeting unsuspecting businesses.

What is ICO Registration?

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) registration is a great step to protect your dealership from all of these challenges. It doesn’t start and end with registration, but it does give you access to the support of the ICO to make sure your business can weather any data protection-related storm. It can also give your customers confidence that you take protecting their data seriously.

Registration puts you on the ICO’s official register which anyone can search for free. The register is available online here and you are welcome to search for Click Dealer to see the type of information available.

Do I Need to Register?

Most likely, yes. There are a few exemptions, but as soon as you step into the world of buying leads, or protecting your forecourt with CCTV you must register with the ICO. If you think your dealership might be exempt, you can use the ICO’s online checker here.

Even if you happen to meet the requirements of the exemptions, it is a good idea to register for the customer confidence and ICO support.

It is each organisation’s responsibility to apply for their own registration, so you cannot rely on the registration of any service provider or third party to cover you.

How do I Register?

If your dealership doesn’t already have a person with designated responsibility for data protection you should nominate someone. Dealerships don’t usually need a formal Data Protection Officer, but you will need a named contact for data protection matters.

You will then need to complete the online registration form. It takes around fifteen minutes and you will need to supply certain information about your business, such as registered office, number of staff, annual turnover, and a description of what you use personal information for. The form provides drop-downs and suggested text for most of this to help guide you through the process.

The online form can be found here.

What Does it Cost?

There is an annual data processing fee, which depends on the size of your dealership:

  • Sole traders and small dealerships with 10 or fewer staff or an annual turnover of less than £632,000 are tier 1 and have to pay £40.
  • Larger dealerships with up to 250 staff or annual turnover of up to £36m are tier 2 and have to pay £60.
  • Very large car supermarket dealerships and franshises with more staff and higher turnover fall into Tier 3 and will pay £2,900.
What Happens If I Don’t?

Failure to register and pay the appropriate fee can result in a fixed penalty. If you are unlucky enough to suffer a data breach – which can happen to any organisation – you will not have the support in place and may be dealt with more harshly if the ICO believe that you have not taken your data protection responsibilities seriously enough.

With most dealerships paying only £40 – £60 per year, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and customer confidence.

For more information on how Click Dealer can help your dealership with data protection, get in touch today on 01782 478220 or by emailing help@clickdealer.co.uk. Alternatively, you can use our contact page!

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