Independent garages have been given an average customer satisfaction score of 92.2 per cent, nearly six per cent higher than for franchised agents.
The findings follow a What Car survey which asked more than 8,300 motorists how impressed they were with their most recent service.
Respondents were asked to consider politeness of staff, quality of work and value for money.
While owners of newer cars are most likely to go to a franchised workshop, awarding them a customer satisfaction score of 80.9 per cent for value, they have awarded 84.1 per cent and 91.4 for brand specialist and non-brand specialist independents respectively.
“Better customer experience”
Independents were also recognised for providing a better customer experience, scoring 94.2 per cent on average for attitude and politeness of staff compared to 91.1 per cent for franchises.
All vehicle owners associated main dealers with higher pricing and scored less for quality of work, with 88.5 per cent satisfied compared to 92.7 per cent of those that used independents.
Reporting for What Car, Claire Evans said: “Almost 90 per cent of motorists get their cars serviced at franchised dealerships in the first year, but a growing number switch to independents as the cars age.
“In fact, according to our research, by the time cars reach seven years old, nearly half are serviced outside the franchised network.
Value for money
“The main reason is cost because independents are rated more highly for value for money.
“But other factors are also at play. For example, the distance needed to reach a franchised dealer is one deterrent for owners who don’t live close to cities.
“Those opting for independent agents are more likely to choose a non-specialist, and only a small percentage pick fast-fit or car spares chains.”
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