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SEATLogoSEAT is now moving ahead with improvements to retailer standards. The car maker is responding to a drubbing it received in a top consumer survey earlier this year, where it came last, and also its lowly placing of 26th out of 29 makes in the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude report.

Between now and 2016, the brand intends to complete a makeover of every retailer to align them with the new corporate identity. The first to be completed is Seat Tunbridge Wells, operated by Caffyns. At the same time, SEAT is looking to increase its presence, adding 10 dealerships to bring the UK total to around 135.

SEAT Director Neil Williamson said: “We need to make sure our dealers are as good as our cars. It’s a big job for us to do.” In Auto Express magazine’s latest Driver Power Survey, SEAT came bottom of all manufacturers, voted worst for workmanship, technical knowledge, cleanliness of premises and atmosphere. It was the second consecutive year that the make came last in the poll, which represents the views of 50,000 motorists.

Despite this, SEAT has achieved record UK registrations this year. In the 10 months to October, it achieved 46,061 to take a 2.15% market share, a 20% improvement over 2013. In percentage terms, it has out-performed other VW Group brands Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen.

Mr Williamson has said the network, although until recently lacking a clear long-term strategy, was now “more profitable”. He said the overhaul was long overdue describing showrooms as “14 years out of date.”

Of the models available, the Leon is proving such a strong seller that it could soon overtake the Ibiza as the top seller. An all-wheel-drive estate variant of the Leon, called the X-perience, joins the range soon, while a SUV is promised for 2016.

Source: Auto Retail Network

Posted by Sue Robinson on 28/11/2014