Just over half (52%) of car owners rate franchised dealers as professional, compared with 24% of national chains and 21% of independent garages in a survey conducted by the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA).
It also revealed that 46% of people rate franchised dealers as knowledgeable and reputable, and 41% of people think they’re reliable.
However, the independents were hailed for other strengths: 45% of respondents said they were friendly and 42% said they offered good value for money.
National garage chains lagged behind franchised and independent garages in most areas, only being rated higher than independent garages for professionalism and being reputable.
The survey showed that 90% of people think that franchised dealerships are the best place to buy a new car and that 87% think it is safest to get their car serviced by a franchised dealer.
The continuing decline of diesel engines was apparent in their answers, with only 12% intending to buy a diesel for their next car, compared with 41% who are planning on buying a petrol car and 13% who will opt for a hybrid.
Only 3% of respondents are planning on buying a pure or plug-in electric car. Barriers to choosing an electric car included the purchase cost (59%), access to charging points (53%) and battery range (52%).
How to get the best deal on a new car in 2018
If you’re thinking of purchasing a new car in the near future, follow our tips to ensure you get the most suitable car at the best price – including how you can buy your next car with What Car?
For many people, buying a car can seem a daunting process. It doesn’t have to be stressful, though. Simply follow the following seven steps to put your perfect car on your drive with the minimum of fuss.
Note down a list of your most important requirements to help you decide what type of car will suit you best. Think about how often you carry a lot of passengers or large kit, such as a pushchair or golf clubs.
Now is the time to consider whether you’d prefer a car with a petrol or diesel engine, or a hybrid or electric vehicle. Generally, if you do lots of motorway miles you’ll be better off with a diesel, but there’s more to conside as our petrol vs diesel guide reveals.
Read the full guide on petrol vs diesel
Your budget may dictate whether you go for a brand new, nearly new or second-hand car, but there are other things to take into account, too.
Buy new and you’re more likely to benefit from tempting manufacturer-backed discounts and finance deals, but you’ll also be hit harder by depreciation.
If you want the latest safety technology, you’re more likely to find it on a new car, but if you want a car in a hurry and want a large pool of potential vehicles to choose from, nearly-new will be the better option.
Find out all the pros and cons in our full guide on buying a new or used car
Whether you’re buying new or used, you’ll want to ensure you get the best deal. So spend some time online looking at similar cars on offer. You don’t have to buy online – although a growing number of people do – but it’s a great way of getting a feel for prices and discounts, and narrowing down your options to two or three serious potential vehicles.
If you’re buying new, then visit What Car?’s new car deals section to buy your new car at Target Price – which is the most we think you should pay for a new car – or below. You can also browse through more than 105,000 discounted new car deals, and choose a dealer that's local to you. If you're not sure what you're after, call our deals team on 03302 216207 and we'll be happy to help – our lines are open from 8am until 10pm seven days a week.
If you’re buying used, then you can get instant valuations on potential purchases – and on your part-exchange car – on the What Car? Valuations page.
Read the full car finance explained guide
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