Franchise workshops lose service bookings as new car shortage hits

Franchised workshops are being hit by the shortfall of new cars sold in the last three years and losing service bookings from existing customers as they reduce their mileage.

Research by JudgeService of the servicing intentions of lapsed aftersales customers, found only 3% currently have one booked.

Nearly a third (29%) were aware they needed a service but had not taken any steps to arrange one, a further 8.5% did not know their cars required a service.

The study, conducted in December and January, also found 40% had already taken their cars elsewhere to be serviced, while a further 16% intended to do so.

Neil Addley, managing director of JudgeService, said: “The sector faces a collective shortfall of over 2.5 million lost new car sales since 2020; vehicles that would typically have been serviced by franchised dealers. This is starting to have an impact on workshop throughput, making aftersales retention a number one priority for all franchised dealers.

“Our research has identified about three-quarters of lapsed customers either have made no plans to get their cars serviced, are unaware of the need to do so, or have already gone elsewhere. Each of these is a missed opportunity for dealers which can be easily rectified by having robust processes in place to promote servicing work for each and every new and used car sale.

“While selling service plans guarantees retention for customers, dealers also need to establish and maintain communication channels with those who choose not to purchase them, otherwise they could be lost for ever.”

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