News release


Serj Heera
Press Relations Manager, Automotive
+44 (0) 115 976 8945 Tel Email

New Experian research highlights extent of motorists’ loyalty to car dealers


Nottingham, UK, 03 March 2009 - When it comes to maintaining their car only 29 per cent of the car owning population would to go back to the dealer they bought their vehicle from, according to a survey by Experian®, the global information services company.


Almost half of car owners (47 per cent) would get their car serviced at a local garage rather than take it to the dealer they bought the car from.  They are even less likely to use a franchised dealer that sells the same brand of car to service their vehicle (13 per cent).


Experian’s survey also revealed a clear difference between new and used car owners.  Sixty four per cent of used car owners would go to a local garage to get their car serviced, compared to just 23 per cent of new car owners. Meanwhile, half (51 per cent) of new car owners would prefer to use the dealer they bought their car from (compared to 13 per cent of used car owners). 


However, all car owners, regardless of whether they own a new or used car, place quality of workmanship (72 per cent) and value for money (67 per cent) as the two most important elements of a good car service provider. 


Kirk Fletcher, Managing Director of Experian’s Automotive division, said: “Sixty-two per cent of car owners keep their cars for at least three years before considering a change and our survey reveals that at least half of motorists are likely to hold onto their car for longer if the current climate persists.  This makes car servicing an important area for dealers and even an area of differentiation.


“Every car owner is looking for good workmanship and value for money, so the key is to highlight these aspects of a business to customers.  Dealers already have a wealth of information in their dealer management systems and by keeping track of those customers that have bought a car from them and contacting them at the right time, they have a greater chance of enticing them back. 


“Database cleansing becomes a key activity at this point.  For example, Experian’s database cleansing service includes Vehicle Owner Tracking, which enables dealers keep track of what the customers on their database are driving.  With the right information about their customers and the cars those customers own, dealers can achieve far higher returns from their marketing activities.” 


Loyalty comes with age

The older the car owners, the more likely they are to stay loyal to the dealer (41 per cent of those aged 65 years old or older compared to 20 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds).  Older car owners are also more inclined to be influenced by the quality of workmanship (84 per cent of 65+ year olds compared to 61 per cent of 18-34 year olds).


Younger car owners, however, are more likely to go to a local independent garage (52 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds compared to 45 per cent of those aged 65 years old or older), with price playing a more prominent role in their decision (56 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds compared to 33 per cent of over 65 year olds).


Gender and loyalty

A local independent garage is more likely to be the choice that women (51 per cent) take compared to men (43 per cent), while men are more inclined towards a franchised dealer owned by the same brand as their car (15 per cent compared to 10 per cent).




About the research

Based on an independent online survey conducted by Research Plus on behalf of Experian’ Automotive division.  A total of 1,008 British car owners aged 18 and over were surveyed during the period 21st to the 26th January 2009.