The debate around main dealer servicing continues with many in the trade insistent that the value of a car is directly affected by its provenance and will de-value if the service schedule is not from the franchise which represents the brand in question.
We have often put this topic out there for debate and as always there are differing opinions. There is no doubt that with prestige cars it’s different as they attract a premium price and the servicing is likely to be costly wherever the car goes. However there are differing factors which mean that there is really no definitive answer. For instance if the car is say a Porsche Boxster which is 7 years old, has 60k on the clock and has had main dealer history for the first 3 years and an independent history from them on, according to our contacts the difference in value of that car in the trade would be minimal. The interesting aspect is that our man says that if the same car had exclusive Porsche history it would be worth more in the retail market than the trade where customers can be more particular and exacting and are happy to pay more as a result.
The fact is that, on the face of it, the average customer trading in their car would see little or no difference in the value but could well have saved themselves thousands by using independent servicing outlets, using genuine parts and would therefore be far better off as a result.
This particular scenario would indicate that in today’s market, as quality stock becomes harder to source, dealers have to be far more flexible in their valuation criteria or run the risk of not buying the car at all and, as we all say, a profit of any kind is better than nothing at all! In other words, with sellers having access to more potential buyers through webuyanycar and the like, they are no longer completely in the dark about what their car might be worth and dealers will need to look for reasons why they should buy the car. They will really need to try not to de-value a trade-in because someone is trying to save money by exercising their choice to have the car looked at by a servicing agent without the brand name above the door.
According to our sources this is already happening as dealers representing many franchises are accepting that, as long as the car has been properly maintained using genuine parts, there is no reason to de-value the car, even more so because the next dealer along probably won’t.
It will be intriguing to see if this changes but I suspect that what will probably happen is that franchised dealers, if they are not already, will offer customers real incentives up front to continue using them for servicing and, in fact, we are already seeing many branded dealers offering 3 years free servicing up front to combat the threat of the independents, which for the customer can only be a good thing.