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Independent dealers outperform dealer groups when it comes to consumer attitudes towards dealers, according to a new survey from independent finance company, MotoNovo Finance.

The survey, conducted on more than 1,500 used car buyers or those considering buying a used car, provided this insight as part of a broad assessment of used car buying attitudes. In terms of seller perceptions, the areas of advantage held by independent dealers were in; trust, transparency, friendliness, helpfulness, care and morals.

Mark Standish (pictured above), chief executive officer of MotoNovo, noted: “While hard factors on product knowledge/information saw the two dealer cohorts performing identically, at a deeper psychological and emotional level, there were clear gaps in critical areas such as trust and transparency.

“These were underpinned by the greatest perception gap, friendliness, where independent dealers hold a marked advantage. On its own, low levels of trust would not necessarily stop a car purchase, but there are implications for pricing and reputation to be considered.”

Another aspect of the research attempted to gauge consumer perceptions of online marketplaces, which significantly underperformed both dealer groups and independent dealers.

Standish concluded: “The findings point clearly to the valued role of a physical dealership for used car buyers. Used car buyers may discover their next car online, but to a large extent, this is only an entry point to the overall journey. The balance of credibility sits with the showroom right now.

“While for dealers, this news will be reassuring, there can be no place for complacency; consumer feedback suggests there is plenty of scope for improving the customers' perceptions. I’m sure that transparency developments in finance, required by the FCA, can play their part and we already see positive indications in this regard from our MotoRate pricing model.”

Founded in 1999, MotoNovo Finance is a UK-based, independent finance company that operates as part of the Aldermore Group and provides a range of funding options such as hire purchase and personal contract purchase.

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