“Room for improvement at too many official dealer networks”

Editor Graham Hope looks at our Driver Power results and wonders why aftersales care often doesn’t match up to the cars being sold

Everyone has very different criteria when in the market for a new car. For some, reliability is most important. For others, running costs. Maybe styling is key for you. Or performance, perhaps?

Aftersales care, I’d wager, rarely figures too prominently in the thinking of many potential buyers caught up in the excitement of choosing a shiny new motor. But it should. Because as our Watchdog pages prove on a weekly basis, when things go wrong, the service you receive from your dealer can become the single most important factor in shaping your perception of a brand.

Best car dealers 2016

This week, our Ultimate Guide To Buying A Car features our countdown of the top official dealer networks compiled from feedback supplied in our Driver Power survey of around 50,000 motorists. And as ever, the results are extremely insightful.

Would you believe, for example, that the biggest complaint a huge one in four have about their local dealer is that their phone calls are never returned? It’s incomprehensible that such a basic failing should cause so much grief, yet it’s a phenomenon I’ve experienced myself on a number of occasions.

And of course, when you do get through, dealers are very quick to capture your data and subsequently bombard you with pointless texts and E-mails about promotions and events you don’t want to attend. Hugely frustrating, isn’t it?

Even more concerning is the presence of some of the most significant names in the UK car market in the bottom third of our dealer countdown. The likes of MINI, Vauxhall, BMW, Land Rover, Audi, Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan are big sellers here in Britain, but frankly in many cases their garages simply aren’t as good as their cars.

If you’re considering buying, I’d urge you to look at our results before signing on the dotted line.

Have you had a bad experience with aftersales? Let us know below..

Recommended

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV
News

How green are electric cars? Polestar data shows ICE trailing EV

Electric car maker reveals whole-life CO2 emissions of the Polestar 2 are better than a petrol XC40 - but EV is only 14% cleaner with global energy mi…
17 Sep 2020
New 2020 Skoda Octavia engine line-up expands again
Skoda Octavia

New 2020 Skoda Octavia engine line-up expands again

New 1.0-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine to the lower end of the Skoda Octavia’s line-up, which has a starting price of £23,005
17 Sep 2020