How does our car dealer survey work?

Every year the Driver Power survey gives owners the chance to tell us about their experiences with car dealers. Here we explain how it works...

Best car dealers 2021 - header

​We’ve been introducing a round of improvements to mark 20 years of our Driver Power surveys, and the dealer rundown is no different. To give you a clearer idea of how each brand’s outlets perform, we’ve split the scores so that the retail, or showroom, side of things gets one set of marks, and the service centre side gets another. 

Each of these two areas gets its own set of four categories, with these category scores being made up of individual questions.

The overall rankings for our 21 dealers are based on a combination of service centre and retail scores, but we’ve also highlighted winners of these two individual aspects of dealers, to give a clearer picture of the market. We’ve also included a percentage score for the proportion of owners who told us they had an issue of one kind or another when using a dealer’s service centre. 

What do the categories cover?

All of our two sets of four categories contain individual areas of assessment, outlined as follows:

Retail categories and questions

  • Showroom facilities: Appearance and comfort of the showroom; cleanliness and hygiene of the showroom; provision of parking at the showroom; virtual tour of the vehicle (if applicable).
  • Salesperson performance: Friendliness of the salesperson; explanation of a vehicle’s features and tech; responsiveness of the salesperson; knowledge of the different models; knowledge of the various finance/leasing options; dealer’s honesty and transparency; how easy and understandable they made the paperwork.
  • The deal: The ability to tailor finance options to suit you; the variety of models and trim options offered; purchase price/deal negotiated.
  • Handover process: How often they communicated with you while you waited for the delivery/collection of your vehicle; explanation of your vehicle’s features and controls; thoroughness of the handover process; condition of the vehicle upon delivery/collection; time required to complete handover.

Service centre categories and questions

  • Facilities: Convenience of parking facilities; cleanliness and hygiene; comfort of the waiting room and vehicle collection areas; facilities available in the waiting room and vehicle collection areas, for example, Wi-Fi, coffee; provisions for Covid restrictions.
  • Courtesy: Availability of a courtesy car; courtesy of staff.
  • Communication: Information on progress and cost of work; clarity and thoroughness of explanations; clarity of paperwork and charges.
  • Workmanship: Standard of workmanship; timeliness to complete work; value for money.

User Guide: making sense of the data

  1. Dealer ranking: Our countdown kicks off below, and this number is the network’s chart ranking out of the 21 franchises rated.
  2. Owner’s view: To give an idea of what drivers think, we’ve picked two quotes, one for sales, the other regarding aftersales.
  3. Retail categories: Four categories cover your dealer experience; their scores are added together to give an overall rating.
  4. Service categories: You ranked your franchise in four areas for car maintenance. The scores are totted up for an overall figure.
  5. Any problems?: We list the percentage of drivers who have had issues with their dealer and highlight common reported problems.

​Click here to view our list of the best car dealers 2021....

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021
E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?
Petrol pump

E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions
1 Sep 2021