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Dealers should 'offer more price comparison tools'

Sue Robinson, NFDA

Dealers are being urged to provide more online tools to make it easier for customers to compare car prices.

Responding to an Auto Trader report published yesterday, that warned buyers were being put off buying because of the reluctance to haggle. Haggling was judged as being more uncomfortable than asking for a pay rise at work or complaining about food in a restaurant.

Sue Robinson (pictured), director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: “We believe that whilst there is still a need for dealers and face to face communication in the showroom, it is vital that dealers simplify the negotiation process by offering more price comparison tools online – an initiative which has already been adopted by many of our members.”

Defending the role of the dealership in the buying process, she said: “In addition, consumers will want to physically see the product they intend to buy.

“The NFDA supports the dealer’s position and believes that there is still a place for dealers in the showroom.

"However, as we enter a digital era, the role of the car dealer is vital in the car buying experience.”

Of the 5,000 motorists surveyed for the report 56% admitted that they had paid the asking price or more (with add-ons) for a new or used car in 2015 – a rise of 12% on 2014.

Over a third of UK car buyers surveyed (34%) identified haggling as uncomfortable.

"Today's consumers are more informed, more discerning and fully aware of the financial packages available before entering the showroom. The industry is now driving towards a digital era with customers undertaking thorough research online – complementing price discussion in the dealership,” said Robinson.

“Dealers are becoming increasingly competitive with pricing, and understand that prices are now more transparent and easily comparable within the entire online UK car market.”

> Information overload puts consumers off buying next car - Auto Trader

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  • walker - 26/02/2016 12:15

    Doesn't the publication of prices other than the manufacturer's "Recommended On the Road Price" fly in the face of dealer agreements? Although price fixing in itself is illegal, manufacturers seem to prefer transaction price negotiation to be conducted within the sale process rather than in the media. The reality is that every sale is an individual transaction where finance, part exchange, options etc need to be the discussed and an agreement reached on the specific needs of the parties involved.

  • Chris - 26/02/2016 13:56

    Having worked in the industry for 15 years I have never known agreements between dealers over pricing. As far as more price comparison for customers because they are uncomfortable with haggling or negotiations, I would say that is because the industry as a whole has improved and how customers are treated is more focused upon than just seeing he customers as cash cows. Good dealers want customers for life and I think I'm correct that price is about 6th on the list of customers priorities when buying a car. Customer service is number 1. Let's also not forget that all the customers buying cars at retail price, I would say it's more likely that they are buying em at the advertised price, ie £299 deposit, £299 a month, not realising that the dealership has had to reduce the original price in order to make that work. If you take Hyundai as an example, I don't think you could buy a car at full price of you tried! All dealerships are businesses, not state owned, and I think that they should be allowed to run how they like. By doing so will sort the wheat from the chaff and hopefully what is left is a better buying process for the customer.