As part of our Driver Power survey, you’ve given your verdict on UK dealer networks. We reveal the best and worst...
The impact that dealers have on our new-car experience cannot be overestimated. From the moment we walk into a dealership, most of us are making judgements. How clean and tidy is it? Are staff approachable, and keen without being pushy? Do they know their product? How willing are they to offer a test drive?
Many of us decide whether we will buy from a dealer within the first few minutes, and good salespeople can make the process positively enjoyable. After all, aside from a house, a new car is the most significant purchase most of us will ever make, so why shouldn’t it feel a bit special?
But after the excitement of the sale and unveil, does the after-sales experience match up to the initial promise? Are services easy to book? Are any teething problems quickly and efficiently handled? Simpler than that, do staff answer E-mails and return phone calls in a timely manner?
The Auto Express consumer desk hears tales of both woe and praise from readers, with some customers swearing to not set foot in a brand’s showrooms again, and others saying they would never buy from another dealership, let alone brand, based on how well they had been treated.
So read on to find out which brands’ dealers take care of you, and which need more polish if they’re to live up to the promise made by some of the fantastic new cars that are available today.
Loyalty and convenience are big reasons for your choice of dealer – almost 40 per cent of you simply return your car to the dealer you bought it from for servicing, or pick a garage because it’s nearby.
Dealers who offer a pick-up and drop-off service are likely to attract business from a decent proportion of customers, while another big reason you gave for using your dealer was because you felt the staff would have the expertise to look after your car. The importance of friendly employees should never be underestimated, because this was another key reason for choosing a dealer.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this analysis is how little importance you attach to price: it seems many of you are willing to pay a little extra to get the service that you expect.