Australians need to be more proactive when buying a new car

Peter Terlato 22 September 2016

Car dealer tablet buy

Satisfaction ratings are higher among those who make a more informed choice.

A new research study has found Australians should be more prudent when buying a new vehicle from a dealership, with lower satisfaction rates among customers who receive verbal quotes than those who receive quotes online.

The J.D. Power Australia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study calculates overall sales satisfaction by examining six key areas of the purchasing experience on a 1,000-point scale.

These, in order of importance, are salesperson (19%), deal (18%), delivery timing (17%), delivery process (17%), dealer facility (16%) and sales initiation (14%).

Customer satisfaction among the 32% of new car buyers who obtain a verbal quote from their dealer was 802/1000, compared with 856/1000 for the 17% who receive quotes on a computer or tablet.

The study revealed Australians are information gatherers. More than 8 in 10 customers check the internet while shopping for new wheels. Almost half (45%) say they search the web to confirm the information they receive is correct.

However, satisfaction levels are higher among those who take on their salesperson's advice and recommendations (842/1000) than those who solely depend on websites (817/1000).

Although, more than half the time, dealers won't proactively make relevant comparisons unless customers request this information.

When shopping around for a new car, it pays to find the right dealer. One fifth (20%) of all customers select a dealership based on its proximity to their home or office, resulting in a satisfaction rating of just 788/1000.

Those who seek out a dealer they know (853/1000) or one with a good reputation (839/1000) have a more satisfying experience.

But beware, just last week ASIC revealed Australian car dealers are selling consumers expensive, poor value add-ons that provide little to no benefit.

Of the 12 different vehicle brands ranked in the study, Mazda (840/1000) claimed pole position in new vehicle sales satisfaction, followed by Hyundai and Honda (832/1000) and Toyota (825/1000).

Not sure whether to apply for a new car loan or get your finance through the dealer? Is a 0% car loan really a good option? Should you buy or should you lease? To learn everything you need to know about vehicle finance and drive away with a better rate, use our extensive car loans comparisons guide.

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