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Dealer servicing hampered by ‘deep misconceptions about price’

A survey of 2,500 ‘in-market car buyers’ by shows that motorists still believe franchised dealers are too expensive for servicing.

The consumers asked were a mixture of new, nearly new and used car buyers.

The research conducted in November found that just 23% of motorists use the dealer that sold them their car for servicing.

This despite the introduction of competitive service plans and aftersales promotions by manufacturers.

When asked what other reasons they had for not using a franchised dealer, 42% said it was because they trusted their local independent dealer or a garage they had used in the past.

Chris Green, sales director at, commented: “Boosting income from servicing and parts is one of the biggest opportunities for dealers in 2013.

“It is vital that dealers get car owners back in the showroom once the manufacturer warranty has expired.

“The major problem is that consumers don’t know that dealers and manufacturers are working hard to put servicing and MoT offers together and have deep misconceptions about price.”

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  • Robert Taylor - 30/11/2012 09:50

    Is this survey based on in-market New Car or Used Car Buyers? I feel this is important to clarify.

    • tomseymour - 30/11/2012 09:59

      @Robert Taylor - Hi Robert. I just asked They said it was a mixture of the two as it was based on buyers that were intending to buy, but some went for new, nearly new and used.

    • Robert Taylor - 30/11/2012 16:55

      @tomseymour - Dependant on the mix, I feel a large contingent of new car buyers would have shown a higher percentage of dealer retention for the first 3 years of ownership

  • Nigel Williams - 30/11/2012 20:21

    Local garage 45 hour franchised dealer 75 hour which one you going to use. Why the big difference. Had a Renault dealer wanted over 600 pounds to do cam belt independent garage Renault trained mechanic using same parts 450. these are the reasons customers go else where, until dealers learn to charge a more realistic price they will loose out. If they want service work then they are going to have to think that if a car is only worth two or three thousand customers are not going to spend five or six hundred getting it serviced when they can get it done cheaper. I seems a lot of dealers use the service department as a back up to the showroom and not a place to actually make money and build up a long term relationship with customers which can lead to new car sales. Find the parts department in some dealer can be very difficult as they seem to hide out back and have to be called to deal with a customer and in my experience they seem to be surprised that someone wants to buy parts for their car and do not know how to handle it.

  • maindealerdiscount - 03/12/2012 14:29

    Yes, it's going to take a long time to change customer perceptions. Years of abuse don't disappear overnight. I'm afraid that's a fact all main dealers have to deal with. What they need is an opportunity to re-brand their 'first contact' marketing.

  • kevthebass - 14/12/2012 09:27

    Main dealers can start by providing somewhere for customers to park! I've cancelled a service from a dealer's forecourt because there was nowhere to park, every bay stuffed with new and used stock. Do you think Tescos/Sainsburys would build a store with no customer parking?