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Consumer awareness of service plans increasing

An increasing number of consumers are considering service plans from a franchised dealer.

In the last 12 months, believes manufacturers and dealers have created a new level of awareness of the benefits of using the franchised dealer for servicing and MoTs.

According to its research, consumers are 40% more likely to purchase a service plan agreement at point of sale if they are buying a new or used car and when picking the car up after a service or MoT than they were a year ago.

Customers who already have a service plan agreement that matchs their finance or PCP term are also on average 25% more likely to purchase that brand from the same dealer again.

Other recent research from the Castrol Professional Car Servicing & Repair Trend Tracker Report shows that in 2013, 24.8% of motorists last had their car serviced at a franchised workshop, the same proportion as in 2012. This is the first year since 2005 in which franchised workshops haven’t suffered a decline in servicing numbers.

Chris Green, sales director, said: “We are seeing an upward trend in consumers looking to use franchised dealers for servicing and MoTs. 

"There is much better consumer awareness of what service plans can offer and an increase in uptake of service plans, as they offer a monthly payment plan to spread the cost.

“The recent move by Audi to launch a new fixed price servicing package for older cars to align pricing structures with independent repairers is great for consumers.

"The Audi service plan is aimed at retaining out of warranty cars aged between three and five years, which are being lost to independent outlets and should most definitely help with their current 40% retention rate which currently sits 20% below BMW and Mercedes."

“Over the last 12 months, we have been running highly successful aftersales campaigns for around 12 of the top 25 car manufacturers. This has involved targeting the exact type of consumer (orphan car owner) within our engaged community of motorists, that the OEM has lost sight of when the car has changed hands.”

> received 203 consumer responses to the question, 'Did they know what a service plan was?' And if it was sold to them, would they buy at point of sale ie buying a new or used car if it saved them money rather than having to face a big bill when the service was due? 81 consumers said yes, 48 said no and 74 said they didn't know what a service plan was.

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