Loyalty trumps low cost in Kwik-Fit survey
A survey commissioned by the UK’s largest fast-fitter suggests the country’s motorists are more likely to return to a garage they trust than to shop around for a lower-priced deal. Kwik-Fit’s survey also suggests that only one in five views convenience as the most influential factor in selecting the garage they want to maintain their car. Over three quarters (78 per cent) of those asked will stay with one garage where possible, and one in three (30 per cent) said they wouldn’t switch at any price. The survey was conducted by ICM Research amongst a nationally representative sample of 2001 UK adults.
45 per cent of all motorists said the most important reason for returning to the same garage they’ve used previously is because they trust it will do a good job; almost twice the number most influenced by price 24 per cent.
But how long does it take a garage to gain this valuable trust? Up to three “successful visits” for 74 per cent, according to the survey, while three per cent say it would take seven visits or more to a garage to have fully earned their confidence. Only one in ten motorists says they don’t generally trust garages; a figure that one might have expected to be higher following a similar HiQ survey of drivers last year that suggested almost two-thirds of men had experiences at garages and dealerships that were neither honest nor trustworthy. Perhaps this contrast provides a clue as to why trustworthiness is prized above low prices.
Motorists in Wales show the most loyalty to their garage, with 44 per cent saying they wouldn’t change garages under any circumstances. Londoners are the most price-sensitive with more than four out of five (82 per cent) admitting they would switch to another garage if it was cheaper.
Shopping around more common for tyres
While servicing yielded results that suggest loyalty is the most important consideration, hunting for cheaper prices on tyres was much more common. Only one in 12 drivers will try a new garage for a service or MoT, but when it comes to tyres motorists are more willing to put loyalties to one side – over a quarter (26 per cent) say they would be prepared to go elsewhere.
Responding to the survey’s results, Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “It’s encouraging to see that even in times of financial hardship, motorists are not abandoning their loyalty to a decent garage. And it’s a credit to the industry that the majority of drivers who keep going to the same place do so because they have faith in its ability to get the job done properly.
“Price is also important and does factor in the average motorist’s decision of where to get their car maintained. That said, drivers are more willing to sacrifice loyalty for some services over others; for example, tyres seem to be the most sensitive to price changes and more motorists would be prepared to shop elsewhere for them than for any other garage service.
“To be successful over the long term it’s important for garages to score well across the board and that’s why we work especially hard to earn motorists’ trust by offering high quality service and competitive prices. Plus our network of over 600 centres means we’re conveniently located for the majority of motorists.”
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