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Independent garages - best for service
Date Listed: 19/08/2009
A new survey from authoritative motoring website, HonestJohn.co.uk, reveals that 77% of motorists use the same garage every time they need their car serviced because they know and trust them.
And 65% rate a local independent garage as likely to provide the best service. Indeed, local garages came out on top for all aspects of vehicle maintenance – from overall servicing to MOTs, general repairs and tyres.
“Our survey shows that motorists value a local garage or dealer who they can rely on to do a good job. Local independent garages must be doing something right because they come way out on top in all the areas we asked consumers about,” explains Honest John. “With 95% of the respondents to the survey driving their own vehicle rather than a company car, this highlights a very important sector of the car market which, although keen to find the best price, also puts considerable value in long-standing relationships with local garages.
“It was encouraging to see that motorists appear not to be putting vehicle maintenance at risk because of the recession. 82% said they have not put off getting their car serviced because of financial pressures.
“We were also pleased to see that today’s motorists are no pushover if they feel they haven’t received good service. More than half (57%) said they would take their vehicle back to the garage if they were unhappy with the work with 88% expecting repair or replacement of the faulty part free of charge. And nearly two thirds (61%) said they would go to the local trading standards officer for assistance if they weren’t getting what they thought was the right response from the garage.
“But what is disappointing is the low level of awareness of the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair amongst car owners, which reinforces the findings of a Which? report earlier this month. The Motor Codes Consumer Advice Line** is the best place for a motorist to go if they feel they haven’t received a good and fair service. Yet, 17% of respondents said they would actually come to Honest John for help with only 1% citing Motor Codes.
“Motor Codes really does provide consumers with the best possible assistance if they have customer service issues. But unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be getting the take up from the trade, which still has its share of wide boys and cowboy operators who think they are too smart or too hard pressed to bother with self-regulation. They simply don't realise that if they don't adopt Motor Codes and abide by it, the OFT will step in and will very heavy handedly (and expensively) take over.
“But Motor Codes also needs to do more to create consumer awareness – and demand. It cannot be seen as a 'lip service' operation. It has to get deeply stuck into some high profile cases and be seen by the public to be on the side of the public.
“Our survey demonstrates that consumers value trust and quality of service above everything when it comes to car repairs and maintenance. They know what they want from a service and expect some recourse if the job isn’t up to scratch – and Motor Codes needs to build its position in this area making it a ‘must have’ for motor dealers and customers alike.”