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Retailers miss out on repeat deals from used car buyers

Almost one in two buyers of a used car is never contacted again by the dealership which sold them their vehicle.

Data collated by the BCA Used Car Market Report 2007, published this month, shows that both franchised and independent motor retailers are missing out on a host of potential repeat business or customer referrals.

The survey of more than 1,000 people who had bought a used car during the last 24 months showed 96% were satisfied with their purchase.

However, only a third of buyers recalled being contacted post-sale by the dealer to check if they were happy or were interested in arranging servicing.

Only 3% were asked whether a relative or friend might also be in the market for a vehicle, and 12% were later contacted about when they might consider changing their car.

These are missed opportunities for the dealers concerned, as one in four respondents said there was at least a 50:50 chance that they or a family member might buy another used car within 12 months.

“While older motorists and buyers of used cars in the £10,000 to £15,000 bracket are more likely to receive a sales call, it is almost un-heard of for dealers to get in touch with younger or lower-income used car buyers in this regard,” states the report.

“Bearing in mind that nearly 100% of used car owners are satisfied with their latest used car, there are plenty of potential benefits and few risks for dealers to keep in close touch and target their existing customers first and foremost.”

Broken down into regions, London is the worst performer, with 58% of buyers receiving no further contact after leaving the forecourt in their used car.

That contrasts with the best-performing West Midlands, where only 27% receive no follow-up contact.

BCA Used Car Market Report 2007 is produced in association with Sewells Information and Research. For more information, contact Sewells on 01733 468254.

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