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Dealers underplaying warranty offer, says AutoProtect

Adam Head, northern zone director at AutoProtect

Used car dealers are failing to communicate the value of their warranty offer, according to new analysis from AutoProtect.

The company found that just 18% of adverts it analysed drew reference to the warranty in the copy, car images or ‘services offered’ section.

“Too many dealers are underplaying the importance of a quality used car warranty to gain and retain customers, enhance customer trust and build their reputation,” said Adam Head, northern zone director at AutoProtect.

The recently published Car Buyer Trust Index, produced by CarGurus, confirmed the crucial nature of trust in car buyers’ decision-making processes. The report noted that while a fair price is a primary factor for most buyers, many are willing to pay a premium for what they see as a superior product or service. Within this, trust in the dealer is a crucial factor. In terms of trust-building, the warranty was identified by car buyers as a critical element. 

AutoProtect’s analysis  focused on the purchase of a used Mini through independent retailers on a leading online car buying marketplace. Among the findings, three-quarters of dealer websites provided no warranty product information on provider or coverage.

More than half (52%) made no mention of the warranty or no specific information on the period of coverage available on the car for sale.

Thirty-two per cent of dealers offered a three-month warranty while 14% offered a six-month warranty and only 2% offered a twelve-month warranty.

“We recognise that many of those dealers who did not mention a warranty or the specifics of coverage do provide some form of cover, but they risk under-selling themselves. Going further, there is potential for dealers to differentiate themselves by offering a more extended warranty, promoted strongly online, in the purchase price to help move away from a commoditised price-led approach,” Head added.

AutoProtect says it will be visiting all of its dealers to stress the potential of greater warranty transparency online and highlighting its portfolio of product support videos that can be use to enhance the customer experience.

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