* Readers spill the beans * The good, bad and the ugly * How does your dealer rate?...
Shrewsbury Audi especially salesman Simon Charles were brilliant all round. Efficient, honest, helpful and very polite.
Over the years I've owned a range of cars from a number of sources. My previous six cars have all been Hondas, supplied from the same dealer J T Hughes but I've sampled its three outlets in Shropshire for both sales and service. All have been good or excellent on both.
My previous Honda was purchased from JT Hughes's Shrewsbury dealership in June last year and it was the best deal I have ever done in many years of car buying.
I specified a Honda Civic i-CTDi ES five-door on a 58-plate with low mileage. They couldn't supply this spec from stock or from Honda UK. I told them about two I'd found in a neighbouring county through the web. They not only offered to try to get one of these cars for me, but also offered me a cracking part-exchange deal.
I had to put down a 500 deposit with the car unseen, but they wouldn't go ahead without ensuring that the car was in mint condition before asking me for a deposit.
In fact, the car I thought I would be buying had some slight damage and they opted for the more expensive one, but offered it to me at the price of the cheaper, rejected one a difference of 500. This also saved me a round trip of 100 miles.
My car has now been for its first service, which was added free as part of the deal. As usual, it was ready on time and returned in a clean condition. This characterises JT Hughes's friendly and helpful service. They aren't cheap, but what Honda garage is? Since I change my car every three years the majority of my experience has been associated with only servicing, but I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.
In 2009, I sold my car privately and bought a run-around to get me to showrooms and work for a few weeks. I have been receiving a company car allowance for several years and had accrued cash for my pending purchase.
I wanted a spacious diesel automatic, which would cruise with minimal noise and maximum comfort all at a good-value price. My budget allowed me to visit most dealers.
I could not believe the lack of salesmen's technical knowledge and effort to tempt me to discuss a deal at Volvo, Nissan, Hyundai and VW garages. The local Land Rover dealer was knowledgeable, though, and made a big effort.
The dealer that stood out particularly, because of the salesman, was Norfolk Motor Group Kia. The salesman Shaun Pointer treated us like prospective customers from the first visit. Two test drives, one for a whole day, were arranged with no delays. We had to think longer about buying a Kia, but at every visit Shaun answered all our questions and made it easy for us to deal with him.
The package price offered for a Carens automatic was comparable with internet prices and he even offered an acceptable amount to trade in our run-around.
To date, the service department has offered a similarly high level of service.
I phoned for a brochure on a Volvo V70 and was asked where I lived. I told the saleswoman and she said they would deliver a test car to my house and collect on Monday 'keep it for the weekend and let us know what you think', I was told. Excellent all-round service and I bought the car.
Read about Alan's not-so-happy experience with a BMW dealer in the Ugly section of this feature.
I have nothing but the highest praise for Lloyd Volvo in Carlisle. You are always offered coffee and are told to pop in for one even if you are just passing.
If your car goes in for a service, you are either offered a lift to and from town or given a courtesy car. They even black the tyres on the courtesy car!
Although service prices are relatively high, your car is always immaculate upon return and you can speak to the mechanic if you need to.