2020 What Car? Servicing Satisfaction Survey
How satisfied are you with your car servicing? We investigate which brands are best at keeping owners happy...
Having your car serviced is a necessity, and can be a pleasure or a chore depending on how well you’re treated and how hard it hits you in the wallet. To find out which brands were the best and worst for servicing satisfaction, we asked more than 18,000 car owners to tell us about their most recent trip to the garage as part of the annual What Car? Reliability Survey.
Owners were asked to consider three areas: politeness of staff, quality of work and value for money, rating the garage as very good, average, bad or very bad. Those given a better rating gained a higher score than those rated badly, and the weighted results were used to create a unique satisfaction index for 29 car brands.
Although most owners will stick with franchised dealer workshops for the duration of their car’s warranty, many choose to switch to independent garages thereafter if they’re keeping the car for longer. So we’ve also collated owner feedback for non-franchised service agents and created ratings for 26 brands – those with a big enough sample size to ensure reliable results.
Comparing the two charts reveals that owners of cars from certain brands, including Lexus and Suzuki, are well cared for whether they choose a franchised or an independent garage, but others, such as Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz owners, are far more satisfied when they use independent agents. That’s because independent garages are often perceived to offer better value for money.
However, many owners remain loyal to their franchised dealer as their cars get older, returning year after year. So we’ve also found out how satisfied customers are with main dealer servicing for cars in two age groups: up to three years old and four to 20 years. While some brands, such as Lexus and Honda, manage to keep owners of cars of all ages content, there’s a dip in the level of satisfaction among owners of older cars from other brands, including Hyundai and Peugeot.
Franchised dealer servicing: cars aged 0-20yrs
Lexus dealerships are the best at keeping owners happy in the long term, gaining a credible 94% satisfaction rating from owners of cars up to 20 years old. The brand wasn’t rated as anything less than good in any of our categories, and the vast majority voted it very good for staff attitude and quality of work.
Honda, Subaru and Suzuki owners can also expect service department staff to remain attentive and provide a high quality of workmanship throughout their cars’ lifetimes. Peugeot, Skoda and Volvo are also rated highly by owners; franchised agents for all three brands rank higher than their independent rivals.