How Can Garages Compete With Franchised Dealers?

How Can Garages Compete With Franchised Dealers?

Franchised dealers appear to have halted the decline in their share of the £21.1 billion a year servicing and repair market at the expense of independent workshops and garages, which are seeing a fall in their share of servicing, according to the latest Trend Tracker figures.

Historically, independent workshops and garages have enjoyed the lion’s share of aftersales work, but with a much younger car parc and extended warranties, their share has been eroded.  According to, a leading price comparison site where service providers quote for MOT, servicing and repair work, garages need to work harder to attract motorists, in a highly competitive market that is shrinking. Forecasts show that service and repair volumes are set to decline by 11% by 2019.

So how can garages compete with franchised dealers?  Scott Hamilton, Managing Director of comments: “Garages need to strengthen their reputation and they can do this by having a strong presence online where most potential customers will find them.  Recent research from gmbh, Trend Tracker’s partner in Germany shows that 60-70% of the motorists they surveyed expect to use an online comparison site for car repairs in the near future.

“Given customers likelihood to use on-line services when choosing a service provider, it is important that businesses make the best of their online presence. Websites, SEO, PPC, blogging and social media can all be used to various levels to increase awareness to customers and it is important to know how best to use which medium to suit the business and prospective customers.

“If garages are going to use social media in particular, they need to be careful how they portray themselves to ensure the business is seen in the right light. Motorists will use social media to research how a particular garage conducts their business, by looking at the interactions with other customers, via reviews and posted comments.

“Social media is a great place to build reputation and there’s lots of potential for it to be used as a viable channel for attracting new customers.  The most important commodity garages have is their expertise – and again, this can be channelled effectively to help the business as an authoritative source of help and information for potential customers in their local area.

“Garages also need to respond to consumers round the clock.  We have seen a surge in motorists visiting our site in the evenings – almost a third (31.5%) of visitors to click on or after 5pm.  The busiest day being Monday, up until around 8pm, when traditionally workshops are closed for business. Increasingly, consumers are surfing the net at all times of the day and night and are happy to interact with garages in their leisure time. If garages want to capitalise on potential online leads, then they need to engage with consumers and convert them, 24/7.

“Our network of garages and independent workshops are enjoying the benefits of quality MOT, servicing and repair leads from customers in their local area which we pass onto them, as consumers look for the best deal from approved businesses. They can choose the best quote for them, whether it’s based on convenience, recommendation or price.” now works with just over 4,000 garage and workshop partners nationwide. Only Authorised Repairers provide quotes for work after a thorough vetting process and genuine parts are used on all customer vehicles. Service books are stamped with manufacturer warranty protection and provides a 12 month guarantee on all parts and labour.

For further information from, click here.

Related posts