Nationwide customers for small dealers

Good small dealers attracting customers nationwide

Even some of the smallest used car dealers in the UK are starting to think about their businesses in national terms, Motor Trade News reports.

The RAC Approved Dealer Network recently highlighted the growing trend for used car buyers to travel further in order to buy the right car from the right retailer. This has allowed good local firms to extend their business, attracting customers from across their region and, very often, nationally.

Sean Kent, director for corporate and independent dealers at The Warranty Group, the RAC's network partner, commented: "For a long time, online advertising has enabled dealers to potentially reach a much wider audience then their locality but it has taken car buyers some time to correspondingly change their long-established buying habits.

"However, our view is that the old pattern is starting to break. In increasing numbers, people will now travel hundreds of miles to get the right car at the right price if the dealer proposition is a credible one.

Even the smallest dealers are now aware of this and will stock accordingly. Where once they would concentrate on what they knew would sell to people who drove past their forecourt, they now look at the bigger picture.
- Sean Kent, The Warranty Group

Kent added that dealers' apparent trustworthiness was a major factor in attracting customers from further afield.

He said: "It is a matter of credibility. If someone is travelling a reasonable distance, they want to know that they can trust the vehicle and your description of it rather than arriving and finding a wreck.

"This is one reason why individual franchise dealers tend to now have a genuine national footprint but we are also finding a similar effect with the RAC Approved Dealer Network. We have independent dealers in the south of England, for example, who regularly attract customers from as far away as Scotland, while our research shows that all our dealers increase their geographical footprint by becoming part of the network."