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Over half UK’s drivers believe vehicle maintenance providers are dishonest

A consumer poll has found that drivers still believe dealerships and independent garages are dishonest. More than 50% of respondents in the survey by Maritz Research said they felt their mechanics were not completely honest with them.

Another key finding was that 70% of new car owners prefer to use authorised dealerships instead of independent garages to routinely service or repair their vehicles, only 32% of used car owners will visit an authorised dealership for routine scheduled maintenance or repair.

But when it comes to paying for vehicle maintenance and repair out of one’s pocket, the poll reveals a distinct difference in loyalty attitudes towards dealerships between company car drivers and private owners. While 83% of company car drivers will visit their authorised dealership for routine scheduled maintenance, only 46% of private owners will go to their dealership. A significant proportion of private owners (41%) prefer instead to take their car to independent garages or workshops for regular maintenance and servicing work.

And while 43% of people who drive a company car would have no hesitation in recommending their authorised dealer for servicing to a person driving a vehicle from the same manufacturer as their own, 21% would absolutely not recommend their dealer.

Joerg Hoehner, director automotive reesearch Europe, Maritz Research, which carried out the survey, said: “This poses an important question that the automotive servicing industry needs to address. Are dealerships losing a valuable source of income from private car owners who choose independents for their servicing, due to perception that dealer servicing is high cost and low value? The industry could do more to reassure these people that their services are accessible and cost-effective, whether or not a car is new, older or second-hand.”

When it comes to dealership vehicle servicing and repair shops offering value for money, only 22% of drivers who own a new car think they received excellent value on their last visit. A significant 11% of new car owners polled indicated they were extremely disappointed with the services rendered on their last visit, reporting that value for money was ‘poor’.

In contrast, used car drivers reported being better satisfied about the value for money they received when getting their vehicle serviced or repaired - 34% indicated that their most recent experience of repairs resulted in a ‘very good’ value for money experience while a small percentage – just 4% - reported that the service given offered poor value for money.

The results summarise the answers of 410 people.

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