What do you look for when buying a used car? A full service record, perhaps, and a long MOT. But a Skoda dealer in London will share information such as a nickname given to it by a previous owner, as well as any quirky personality traits and even any special family memories involving the car.
The scheme is being trialled at Willis Motor Company over three months in an attempt to make the used car buying process more fun – and if it’s successful, it could be rolled out across the entire network of Skoda dealers in the UK.
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Skoda spoke to around 2,000 British car drivers and found that 40% said their car had helped to create special memories, while almost a fifth considered their car to be ‘part of the family’.
“Since the dawn of the automobile, the used car sales process has largely remained the same,” explains Skoda’s national used car manager, Nick O’Neill. “However, as our research shows, many people feel that some change is needed.
“After buying a house, a car is the most expensive purchase that most of us will ever make. When you look round prospective homes, it can help to add appeal to a property if you see happy photos of the current owner and their family hanging on the wall. You understand that if someone can love it there, you can too. We’re applying a similar logic to the used car sales experience.”
The manufacturer’s research reveals that a quarter of the British public think the used car industry needs a modern new approach. Just 6% of those surveyed described it as ‘fun’, and only 5% thought it was ‘innovative’.
The proprietor of Willis Motor Company, Dennis Willis, said: “We’ve been selling used cars for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen first-hand the way that the relationship between owners and their cars has changed. People don’t just own a car now – they love it, it becomes part of them and their life. No one has done anything like this in the industry to reflect that shift: Skoda is breaking new ground.”
The car dealer will include snippets about the car’s history on its website, in the showroom and on Auto Trader adverts.