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It found that for consumers who always use a franchised dealer 87%, were satisfied or very satisfied with the aftersales compared to just 46% for those who always use independents.
The NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey for the first half of 2016 found that independent dealers have “a far worse record” when it comes to the satisfaction of the overall experience with a third, 34%, of consumers were dissatisfied with their last service at an independent dealer.
“It is also worth noting that consumers perceive the aftersales offering from a franchised dealer as a far higher quality product than servicing at an independent dealership.
“34% of consumers would draw a comparison between a franchised dealer and a high-end supermarket such as Marks & Spencer or Waitrose.
“This may therefore affect the satisfaction levels as consumers are more likely to pay for a higher level of service if they perceive a franchised dealer to be a high-end product,” it said.
The NFDA commissioned the survey to research consumer attitudes in the automotive sector towards franchised dealers compared to independent garages and retail chains.
It found that consumers had firm opinions on what non franchised national chains, such as Halfords and independent garages offered but there was a lack of clarity around the role of a franchise.
Independent garages were the most used for servicing because of the lowest cost of servicing at £135 compared to an average cost of £163 for a franchised dealer.
The main strength of independent dealers for 26% of consumers was the quality of service. The second major positive was value for money, mentioned by 23%
The survey demonstrated that if a service plan or warranty was in place then the customer is significantly more likely to retain a franchised dealer for their aftersales.
And once a consumer had used a franchised dealer they were likely to use it after the warranty or service plan had expired.
Once a consumer uses a franchised dealer they are likely to be impressed by the overall level of service
Consumers were comfortable with the idea that you could buy new and used cars but were less aware of other kinds of servicing available at franchised dealers
Franchised dealers are trusted far more than independent garages or non-franchised chains when it came to hybrids, electric or fuel cell cars
The survey was executed by Public Knowledge. Between 1 and 9 December 2015, 1,000 consumers across the UK were polled in a 10 minute online survey. For the full survey click here.