15 October 2018 Customers enjoy visiting dealerships to view, test drive and take delivery of cars but dislike negotiating prices and trade-in values or completing the paperwork associated with buying a car.
These are among the findings of independent research into the buying behaviour of over 1,000 in-market consumers commissioned by Motors.co.uk.
The research identified the three favourite customer experiences with over two-thirds (67%) enjoying viewing cars at dealerships, 65% liking the experience of taking delivery of a car and 63% enjoying test drives.
However, nearly half (47%) dislike the administration associated with change of vehicle ownership, 39% do not like the process of agreeing a trade-in value for their car and 36% said they did not like negotiating prices.
“Whilst our research dispels some of the popular misconceptions about the car buying process which is all too often portrayed as an unenjoyable experience, it also reveals pain points which management can address with better processes,” said Marc Robinson, Motors.co.uk’s sales director.
“The burden of completing change of ownership paperwork can be addressed simply by dealers giving customers a checklist ahead of them coming in to collect their vehicle. This would need to cover things like making sure they bring in their V5, both sets of car keys and remember to cancel insurance cover,” he said.
Robinson, who has over 20 years’ experience of running dealerships with Inchcape, Vertu and Pendragon, also believes more can be done to address trade-in values before customers visit a dealer.
“It’s not surprising that customers do not like haggling over trade-in values which is why online part-exchange valuation services are so important. Buyers can therefore arrive at a dealership with a realistic, rather than emotional, view of how much their car is worth.
“Alternatively, dealers need to be more transparent with their onsite valuations by walking the customer around the car as this will help manage expectations by showing how the valuation is derived.”
Robinson said customers would also appreciate the opportunity to use online tools such as Live Chat to negotiate from the comfort of their homes, rather than face to face.
“Dealers who address customer pain points through subtle changes to their showroom processes and online experiences, will gain a competitive advantage. We can see how increased transparency drives conversion rates at the point of sale. It also helps drive more sales of GAP insurance, paint protection and promotes post-sale loyalty through improved CSI scores,” said Robinson.
The survey, conducted by Insight Advantage, the independent research agency, polled the views of 1,003 car buyers over the course of August and will be published in the inaugural Motors.co.uk Consumer Insight Panel – Autumn 2018.
Further details available from Dermot Kelleher on 07717 516555 or Dermot.Kelleher@coxauto.co.uk
About the survey
The inaugural Motors.co.uk Consumer Insight Panel – Autumn 2018 was conducted online in July and August 2018 by Insight Advantage, the independent research company. The national sample consisted of 1,003 adults who are sole or joint decision makers when buying a car. The Motors.co.uk Consumer Insight Panel – Autumn 2018 will be published soon.