Where do you prefer to get your car serviced – an independent garage or one of the franchised dealerships? According to recent research from What Car, the newer the car the more likely you are to go to a franchised dealership. However, as a car ages it’s more likely that an independent garage will be favoured. The What Car study found almost 90% of motorists get their cars serviced at franchised dealerships in the first year – but by the time cars reach seven years old, nearly half are serviced outside the franchised network.
Independents come out on top
The What Car survey asked over 8,300 motorists about their most recent service, taking politeness of staff, quality of work and value for money into consideration. Independents came out on top overall, scoring 94.2% on average for attitude and politeness of staff compared with 91.1% for franchises. When it came to value for money and quality of work, independents were also perceived to be the better option, with a satisfaction score of 92.7% compared to 88.5% for franchises.
Do independent businesses make us happier?
The What Car research is further backed up by an existing small business survey from Avery WePrint, which found that choosing to buy goods and services from small or independent business actually makes customers feel happier. The study looked at the top ten products and services consumers prefer to purchase from small and independent businesses, with car repairs coming in 6th place on the list. So, congratulations to all the hard-working independents out there!
Good for the industry
Above all, we think it’s great to see that there are high customer satisfaction levels across the board for both independents and franchises. It’s about time the outdated and unfair negative perceptions of garages overcharging or doing poor work were done away with – we know this simply isn’t true. Well done to What Car for highlighting the facts, and of course a huge well done to all the hardworking mechanics and workshops out there.