Skoda has gone live with the agency model for electric vehicles in the UK, Auto Retail Agenda has learnt. The move at the start of November follows fellow Volkswagen Group brand Cupra’s agency move in 2022.

One retailer told Auto Retail Agenda described Skoda as Volkswagen Group’s test bed for agency and the plan was to see how it goes before the rest move.

“To reach this point, we have been working closely with our investors and dealer networks to ensure a smooth transition,” a Skoda spokesperson told Auto Retail Agenda.

“We are confident that the significant amount of work put in from both sides will ensure in future we are set up to better serve our customers and their evolving mobility requirements.”

Other Volkswagen Group brands will adopt agency for EVs throughout 2024.

It is reported all VW brands will have a similar renumeration for the agency model of around 6.5%, to avoid cannibalisation within the group.

The UK has moved to agency ahead of other markets. Germany will move to agency in 2024 with the new Elroq SUV. Skoda head of Germany Jan-Hendrik Huelsmann is promising retailers there that financial returns will be similar to those under the franchise system.

Inventory risk and the cost of refinancing for new cars transfers to Skoda under agency, but personnel and buildings costs remain with the retailer.

Huelsmann said Skoda will not expect retailers to maintain the same standards as today. “We will reduce personnel and building standards in the sales department in an effort to reduce pressure on our partners.”

In the UK, Skoda now advises customers that prices for the electric Enyaq range are “Skoda UK’s Manufacturer Direct Price” and retailers now act as agents on behalf of Skoda UK. All other models are listed with Skoda UK’s recommended ‘on-the-road’ prices.