That’s according to Auto Express Magazine’s survey of 20,000 motorists in its Driver Power survey.
The poll found that some 30 per cent of respondents were annoyed their calls to both franchised and independent dealers simply rang and rang.
Second biggest annoyance was ‘problems that were never properly explained’ – again an issue for all dealers.
Cars left dirty after a service or repair, unexplained bills and discourteous staff were the other problem areas, according to the magazine’s survey.
‘When readers did manage to speak to a member of staff, they are more likely to be discourteous if they work for a franchised dealer – and chances are they might be less able to explain the problem,’ said the magazine.
The survey also quizzed buyers about why they choose their dealer for servicing – and by far and away the biggest reason was because it was where they bought the car.
‘Ever wondered how important car sales are to a dealer’s servicing business? Take a look at these results – over half of the drivers using the workshops of franchised dealers do so because they also bought the car at the attached showroom,’ said the magazine.
‘Compare this to less than five per cent of independent garage customers and it’s clear that the sales staff at franchises have the weight of the entire business on their shoulders.’
Driver Power also found that independents draw in customers for a variety of reasons but the most important was price and the fact they can undercut franchised sites.
The survey’s 20,000 respondents named Lexus dealers as the best, followed by Skoda in second, Honda in third, Toyota in fourth and Jaguar in fifth.
At the bottom of the pile were volume players Vauxhall, followed closely by main rival Ford which was second from bottom.
Renault – which finished bottom last year – made a dramatic recovery to 15th in the table of 30 manufacturers which Auto Express said was a ‘superb’ achievement by its dealers.
by JAMES BAGGOTT