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Motor Trade Monthly Round Up March 2017

A round up of all the motor trade news you need to know from the month of March 2017, including news for MOT Testers, as well as car dealerships.

Make sure you know everything that happened last month in the motor trade world, by reading our handy round up.

Car Finance

Vehicle finance is “complicated and difficult” to understand according to 50% of drivers surveyed by Intelligent Environments, a financial technology company.  It also found that 26% of drivers had avoided taking out finance on cars altogether, 29% believe it’s harder to apply for finance than purchase insurance, and 32% of consumers would take out a personal loan to cover the costs rather than applying for finance. Managing Director, David Webber, said: “Businesses must digitise. If half of consumers agree that the vehicle finance application process is too complex, then something must change.”

Diesel cars decline in march


The amount of people who intend to purchase a diesel for their next car has gone down. In 2014 23% of drivers said they would buy a diesel car in comparison to just 18% in 2016, this comes before reports from Black Book at cap hpi, of a decline in used diesel car values in March. Overall used car values decreased by 0.1% at three years old with 60,000 miles on the clock, but this is largely down to the reduction of 0.4% of used diesel values, whereas there was an increase of 0.1% for used petrol values. 

The Senior Editor of Black Book, James Dower, said: “Continual press reports painting diesel in a negative light appear to be having an effect on buyer behaviour. Much of the negative sentiment attached to diesel relates to older and less refined diesel power units. The modern day diesel is something of a different proposition and manufacturers have made significant investments in new engine and post-combustion technology to reduce NOx levels.  Certainly, it is a trend to keep an eye on.”

Best cars for MOT tests


According to, the Audi Q3 is the best performing 4x4/SUV for its first MOT, with a pass rate of 92.11%. The worst car was the Peugeot 5008 with an initial pass rate of 76.02%. Audi featured again in the top ten with the Q5 model placing fourth with a pass rate of 90.44%. The Lexus RX450H came second with a 91% pass rate and the Volkswagen Toureg came third with a 90.51% pass rate. The Honda CR-V rounded off the top five with a pass rate of 90.27%.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency has launched a new status page for the MOT testing service, located in the Matters of Testing blog, allowing stations to verify known service outages and get a contingency code. The DVSA said: “When we have maintenance work planned we’ll send you an email and update the new status page to let you know when the service will be unavailable.”

“If the service goes down unexpectedly we’ll update the status page as soon as we can. Unplanned outages can be for a number of technical reasons and as soon as we know about the problem we try to fix it as quickly as possible.”

“We want to make sure you know the status of the service straight away and our new status page will help you to access this information instantly.”

Dealer Technology

According to a survey conducted by cap hpi, more than one in 10 dealers use 11 or more digital systems daily. Of everyone surveyed, 93% spend more than two hours a day using technology, but 36% surveyed said they didn’t have sufficient training. Retail and Consumer Specialist at cap hpi said: “It’s clear that technology is playing an increasing role in all our lives but the trends uncovered in this new survey must give dealers pause for thought.” 

“With more than one in 10 staff logging into more than 11 systems and spending more than two hours a day in front of a screen, there is an opportunity to work more efficiently.”

“Technology has an important part to play in driving efficiency within the vehicle buying and selling process.”

“Consumers are time poor and look to retailers to provide accurate analysis and intelligence in real-time.”

Consumer Behaviour

A survey conducted by BuyaCar has found that consumers in rural areas are more likely to order their cars online. It showed drivers living in the Scottish Highlands and some coastal areas of England and Wales are more likely to order cars online compared to people living in Birmingham, London, Manchester or Newcastle. The survey also found that one in four motorists were no longer apprehensive of buying a car without seeing it first.

Research from the Institute of the Motor Industry has found that 45% of drivers said they felt pressured to buy add-ons from a car salesman when they most recently bought a car from a garage or dealership. This comes despite changes to the Consumer Credit Act, which aims to prevent finance and insurance products being sold to drivers. The research showed that 42% of motorists said they had previously avoided a dealership because of a lack of trust. However, 64% of car buyers said the process would be easier if the dealership was a member of a regulated body.

IMI Chief Executive, Steve Nash, said: “Sadly our research highlighted that nearly two thirds (63%) of car buyers find the process stressful.”

“This underlines why it’s the right time for the retail motor industry to take more responsibility to ensure anybody selling finance and insurance products has the correct training to be able to help drivers decide whether or not they would like to buy these extras when purchasing a vehicle.”

Things You Should Know

Dealer management system company, Dragon2000 has said dealers that handle bad reviews inappropriately are damaging their reputation and losing customers, who are increasingly searching for and reading reviews.

Operations Manager, Karen McKenzie said: “Bad reviews are a fact of life and no dealership can keep everybody happy, all of the time.”

“The important thing to remember is that potential customers will read how a dealer has responded to a bad review, as it gives consumers a clear indication of how complaints are handled.” 

“If a bad review is ignored by a dealer, or they respond in an inappropriate or unprofessional way, prospective customers will understandably form a poor opinion of the dealership.  How a dealer handles a bad review can be potentially more damaging then the review itself.”

“Online reviews bring a great opportunity for dealers to enhance their reputation online and convince potential customers to get in touch. In fact, reviews are one of the most powerful marketing channels to help drive sales.”

“Reviews and star ratings give dealers ‘social proof’ which helps car buyers refine their research and make quicker decisions, on which local dealers they will contact.”

“Good reviews can also be used across all marketing channels including press, online and outdoor advertising, across social media and on dealer websites. Reviews can be very powerful, and if successfully incorporated in to a Google AdWords campaign, they can help dealers to increase click-through rates and boost conversions.”

Motor Trade Insurance

We hope you’ve found this news round-up informative, and if are in need of insurance for your motor trade business then you are already in the right place. Click ‘Get a Quote’ below or to speak to a member of a specialist Motor Trade team call 0330 127 4100.