Used car dealers should stick to their unique strengths to overcome competition from the private market during the credit crunch.
That is the advice of Debra Healy, digital director at Exchange & Mart, reacting to new research from her company which found that more people than ever would prefer to buy their car from a private seller.
Figures reveal that the number of people looking to bypass the dealer has climbed by a significant amount – 11 per cent over the past three years.
The data suggests that there is a growing school of thought that consumers have the perception that better deals are available privately.
Certainly, car dealers are facing their toughest trading conditions for a long time in the face of the economic slowdown, plummeting consumer confidence and decreasing disposable income.
But Ms Healy urged dealers to remember that although price is always a major consideration in all buying and selling decisions, it "isnt the only factor".
The expert stressed that dealers have always offered long-term value for money, through a range of packages that cover the consumer in all eventualities.
She said: "This unique strength is one the private market cannot match. The key to coming through tough times is having the confidence to stick to what dealers do best and not get sidetracked into an ultimately destructive price war to take on the private market.
"By continuing to exceed consumer expectations, they can help rebuild consumer confidence, which could be crucial in the current climate."
Written by James Christie