Motoring: Online – is it for you?

The onlline service process must be simple and comprehensive right up to payment online.

The onlline service process must be simple and comprehensive right up to payment online. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Last week we were looking at online sales and had moved on to service.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "I want to supercharge the electric revolution.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "I want to supercharge the electric revolution.” - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Some people who have simply a service or an MOT to be carried out and, to their knowledge, have no specific issue, may like to book a day and time online with no further contact with the dealer.

This would have to include the facility to book a courtesy car and a number of other questions, saving time at service reception.

The whole process must be simple and comprehensive right up to payment online.

Any faults found while the work was being carried out can be communicated by text or telephone with estimates of time and costs involved.

This will not be for everyone. For some, a visit to the dealership will be a chance to have a look at any new product or updates and where an intermittent fault is occurring, discuss this directly with a technician, or go out with him to try and replicate the fault.

Choice is what dealerships must offer continuing such services as ‘while you wait servicing’ or collection and delivery, the latter having an additional cost.

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Manufacturers continue to push for fewer and larger outlets to display and distribute their product and believe servicing will become simpler in the long run with the change to electric and maybe hydrogen vehicles.

This is a long way into the future as there will simply not be enough infrastructure to produce and supply enough battery power for everyone, and also many car owners will not be able to afford the cost of transition.

Although no combustion engine-powered vehicles will be produced or sold from 2030, diesel and petrol fuel will continue to be supplied for some years to come.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who conveniently not only has a charger at home, is close to a bank of superchargers at South Mimms services and Hatfield railway station, home to 27 chargers, close by. It is no wonder he says: “I want to supercharge the electric revolution”.

But Devon and Cornwall are unlikely to see these sort of facilities in the near future.

However, there will be a continued push from Government on both manufacturers and consumers to change to electric with incentives and new investment.

Yet again it will pay to talk to your local sales advisor to make sure you are aware of changes which will allow you to make the best decision for your specific needs.

On the whole question of online, I would welcome your thoughts on what you want from your dealership so please contact me on peter.vosper@vospers.com and let me know or have any questions.

In the lead up to Christmas and the New Year keep your eyes on the Brexit discussions and be ready to move quickly if a no-deal looks on the cards and the likelihood of tariffs.

Some manufacturers have good stocks but if you want a particular specification or colour it may be a good idea to inquire now.

If you are due to change there are plenty of offers out there and targets to be met by the year end.

I hope your plans for Christmas are well in hand and that you continue to keep safe.

I look forward to joining you next week.