MG, Subaru and Isuzu dealerships in Australia have the happiest customers, according to a study by finance platform MNY.
It compared a combination of data obtained from CarExpert.com.au, VFACTS, and the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics with 299,595 Google reviews from 1374 car dealerships belonging to Australia’s 10 best-selling brands.
MG sat in the top spot, with 58 per cent of its dealerships rated more than 4.5/5 by customers for an overall average rating of 4.54 out of 5. The company also had the most-reviewed dealerships, with 78 reviews per 1000 vehicles.
Subaru and Isuzu were next with an average rating of 4.51 out of 5, though Isuzu was the least-reviewed brand in the study with only 22 reviews per 1000 vehicles.
The typical dealership rating across the board was 4.31 out of 5, with the vast majority of locations receiving at least four stars.
Toyota and Ford sat at the bottom with an average rating of 4.29 out of 5, but their rating breakdowns differed: good ratings, for example, accounted for 24 per cent of Ford’s reviews but only 16 per cent of Toyota’s.
MNY warns a dealer’s rating could be affected negatively by something as simple as the car park layout, with one Toyota customer even commenting he liked the service he received but disliked an employee’s moustache.
Likewise, some customers may have had a bad experience but still provided a five-star rating in their review in order to be eligible for a special offer or discount.
“It’s wise to approach dealership ratings with a dash of scepticism as they may not tell the whole story,” said MNY business analyst Sabina Khanusiak.
“While Toyota may have a decent average rating score of 4.29, it’s worth noting that their no-frills reputation could be a factor in why their dealership ratings are just satisfactory.
“It is important customers do their due diligence as our research discovered that new dealerships with limited reviews also have lower average ratings.”
Other interesting learnings from the study include:
- Victorians post the most reviews, with 23 reviews per 1000 registered vehicles
- Tasmanians post the least, with 7 reviews per 1000 registered vehicles
- Northern Territory dealers had the highest percentage of negative dealership reviews, at 35 per cent
The report isn’t without flaws, however. It suggests Toyota and Isuzu are “known as lower-cost brands and are seen as budget vehicles”, while “in contrast, MG is a positioned as a higher-end brand”.
You can view the full survey results here.