Online reviews keys for car buyers' dealership choice

More than two thirds of car buyers in the UK will choose the dealership they buy from based on online reviews and endorsements, new research has revealed.

In much the same way as a car dealer will browse the internet for an online motor trade insurance quote before then buying a policy, car buyers are scouring the web to find out where they can get the best deals and the best service. According to a study of 1,000 motorists by JudgeService, 65 per cent are more likely to visit a dealership if it has positive reviews on its website and on social media.

This is indicative of a common trend that is being hammered home to car dealerships and mechanics across the UK – having a strong online presence, including positive feedback on the company, is essential in the battle to secure new customers. For example, the research found that more than half of drivers aged 55 and over are more likely to visit a forecourt with positive reviews, while Audi and Jaguar drivers were the most likely to visit a dealership with positive independent reviews.

Sales director at JudgeService Dale Woodley said: "In the past some would view online reviews as an added extra or ‘nice to have’ but these survey results demonstrate that they are an essential sales and marketing tool which cannot be ignored.

"The latest figures show 72 per cent of the UK population now own a smartphone, providing 24/7 social media and web access so it’s important dealers remain proactive in not only monitoring and responding to comments and reviews but also in actively seeking these endorsements which can mean the difference between a sale or missed opportunity."