The What Car? Is Watching initiative lets members of the public rate their experience of sales service and aftersales service by answering an online questionnaire and leaving comments.
Cost, customer service, ‘the deal’ and the overall experience are assessed to create a review that is designed to help other customers make up their mind about what garage in their area to visit. Reviewers can rate a garage with up to five stars. All submissions will be published on the magazine’s website.
“We are not creating a witch-hunt,” says Steve Fowler, editor of What Car? “We are looking for the best dealers and garages out there because we want our readers to receive the best service.”
Garages will have the right to reply to poor reviews. “Different people have different levels of expectations, so it’s all down to personal experience really,” says Fowler.
The website receives around 800,000 visits per month. Motorists will be encouraged to display a What Car? Is Watching sticker, designed to show garages that their service could be rated.
The magazine recently claimed franchised dealership technicians charge more per hour than barristers or doctors. It drew criticism from the motor industry for confusing pay rates with labour charges.