It seems as though there is a growing level of awareness about the improved level of service that is provided by independent garages and services centres. Whether motorists are looking for a better price, great value for money or a higher standard of service, it seems as though franchised dealers are no longer living up to the expectations of customers around the United Kingdom. A new survey carried out by GForces indicates that car owners are placing a greater degree of faith and trust in the service that is provided by independent firms when it comes to MOTs and services.
The survey sought out the opinion of 2,000 motorists asking questions on a range of topics including aftersales care, and it turned out that over 50% of respondents used independent garages. This compares with 34.1% of respondents who claimed to use main dealers when caring for their car.
There were a number of geographical differences found in the survey. It turns out that car owners in the South East of the country were the least likely to use the services of a main dealer for aftersales work. Less than 30% of respondents stated that they used a main dealer whereas for the North East and Scotland, it was found that over 40% of car owners relied on the services of a franchised outlet to ensure that their car was well looked after.
Young motorists look to save money
Of the respondents, only 17.5% said that they had a service plan, with a greater proportion of car owners aged between 18 and 24 having a service plan than motorists who were aged 45 or over. Unsurprisingly, younger motorists were keen to cut their costs as much as possible and only 28.8% of this age group used a main dealer for their vehicle.
Tim Smith is the Group Strategy Director of GForces and he said; “Knowing that more people are turning to the independent sector is one thing; it’s much more important to know why. With pricing as the main factor, it’s more important than ever for dealers to advertise their value proposition – both online and off. Building relationships with customers is also clearly very important when it comes to retaining them, so dealers should seek to create a community of advocates and continuously engage with them. Many businesses are doing this through social media.”
It has to be said that there is nothing too startling about the findings of these results. There has been a growing awareness of the cost benefits of switching to an independent garage and as this doesn’t affect the warranty of the car, there is no reason to pay the higher price. There is a great deal to be said for finding the best possible value for your vehicle and independent garages and service centres are offering plenty of reasons for motorists to switch to what they have to offer.