Posing as potential buyers, a team from monthly car magazine What Car? approached 48 franchised dealers to find out how far they would go to fulfil a customer’s needs.
The six manufacturers tested included Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Nissan and Volkswagen and the task involved choosing a car that was not a standard model in order to request a test drive.
The testers requested vehicles that would be ordered with a specification that alters the overall driving experience, such as an automatic gearbox or four-wheel drive.
However, the survey found that 63 per cent of dealers tested were unable to grant customers a test drive, while some sales staff suffered from a ‘dismissive attitude’.
What Car? said: ‘Judging by our experience here, the car industry is doing a pretty poor job of delivering. More worrying still is the dismissive attitude of many sales staff.’