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Lexus Remains Britain's Favourite Dealership

By raccars Published

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Auto Express magazine's Driver Power satisfaction survey takes place every year to judge Britain's best and worst garages. Dealerships are rated according to how customers found them to perform in a number of categories, such as customer service, value for money and the quality of the work carried out. 61,000 readers participated in this year's survey, which saw Lexus once again named as Britain's best car dealer.

Toyota came second to Lexus, followed by Jaguar, Honda, Peugeot, Subaru, Skoda, Porsche, Citroen and Mini in tenth place. Of the 31 brands analysed, Suzuki came last in the customer satisfaction survey, only a short distance behind Volkswagen and Nissan.

This year's judging categories asked customers to rate the helpfulness of staff, the cleanliness of the showroom, the quality of workmanship, how long it took to complete the work, value for money and how technically knowledgeable the staff were. The survey also asked for wider opinions about garages in the UK, such as the sort of problems drivers encounter, whether at a franchised dealership or small, private garage. Last year this part of the survey saw car owners complain about garages failing to identify faults, and the same problem came top of the list again this year.

A third of survey participants had experienced a garage failing to identify what the problem was with their car, while 28% were irate when garages didn't answer the telephone. Fifteen per cent of customers felt their car's problem had not been properly explained to them, while 11% had found the staff discourteous. Eight per cent of survey participants were unimpressed when their cars were returned to them dirty, and 6% found unexplained bills annoying.

Increasing levels of automation in our vehicles mean that electronic problems are now the most common reason for car owners to visit a garage, causing 31% of faults. Engine faults are next and the reason for 15% of garage visits, followed by clutch and gearbox issues, taking up 9% of garage time. Brakes are the reason for 8% of garage visits and suspension for 7%. Twenty nine per cent of faults were for a mixture of other reasons, including water leaks, failed air conditioning, fuel system issues and rattles from the cabin.

The number of overall faults was also up compared to last year's survey, with 24% of car owners having to take their vehicle for repairs in the last 36 months, compared to only 20% last year.

However overall, 72% of car owners still prefer to take their car to a franchised main dealer over any other garage.

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