Which car owners are the most, and least, faithful to franchises


More than a fifth of three to 10 year old cars are brought back to franchised workshops for service, maintenance and repair, despite it costing owners up to 35 percent more in labour rates.

That’s the result of analysis of more than 70,000 policies provided by independent warranty provider Warranty Direct. It found that 22 percent of three to 10-year-old cars return to franchises where overall labour rates are 23 percent higher and 35 percent more for premium brands.

Warranty Direct says one in six owners of ten-year-old cars still go back to the main dealer, but independents still take the majority of work on cars more than three years old.

In fact, Lexus and Porsche owners are the only ones more likely to go to a franchise than an independent with cars of this age, making the journey on 58 and 54 percent of occasions respectively.

Mercedes-Benz owners are the next biggest franchise fans and take their cars there 49 percent of the time. Alfa Romeo and Jaguar drivers are next at 44 and 43 percent.

Vauxhall and Fiat drivers are the least likely to be faithful to a franchise and use independents 89 and 90 percent of the time.

Hyundai owners are the next least franchised focussed with 88 percent preferring the services of an independent, the same level as for Kia, Ford, Renault and Peugeot.

The owners of a further 12 different car brands opt for independents between 70 and 87 percent of the time, including Audi, Volvo, Toyota, Volkswagen and Skoda.

Warranty Direct Managing Director McClure Fisher said: “Once car leave the protective umbrella of the manufacturer warranty and are on their second or third owners, they are typically lost to the manufacturer network.”

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