Special Report

Car Brands With the Best and Worst Dealership Experiences

The car industry has been severely disrupted by the pandemic. Shortages in vehicles and components, caused by supply chain problems especially of semiconductor chips used in cars, have hit the industry particularly hard and caused car prices to shoot up. These ongoing issues have caused discontent for customers and problems for sellers, resulting in an increase in customer dissatisfaction, specifically of car dealerships. (The automotive industry is among the industries with the most struggling small business owners.)

To find the car brand with the words dealers in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed consumer research company J.D. Power’s recently released “2022 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.” The study measures satisfaction with the sales experience of customers who decided to buy a car at a dealership and those who decided to buy somewhere else (rejecters). We listed all car brands measured by J.D. Power, ranked from highest sales satisfaction score — out of 1,000 — to lowest. Each car brand’s parent company came from Consumer Reports

J.D. Power’s Sales Satisfaction Index is based on responses from 36,879 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle from March through May 2022. Buyer satisfaction is based on questions organized into six categories: delivery process, dealer personnel, working out the deal, paperwork completion, dealership facility and dealership website.

For the first time in 10 years, satisfaction with the sales experience at car dealerships decreased. It was only a small drop — from 789 to 786 out of 1,000 on J.D. Power’s scale — but it signifies that the problems in the car industry may have started to affect the car buying experience.

Car prices shot up during the pandemic but so did the price of trading in vehicles, which helped balance out the rising costs for buyers. However, many used vehicle prices have begun to decline since peaking around August 2022.

Meanwhile, the average new vehicle price transaction hit a record high in August of $48,301, according to Kelly Blue Book. The increase has been influenced by high demand, low inventory, and a shortage of incentives. The price remained high at $48,281 in October and may set a new record going forward.

The satisfaction index score for fairness of price paid declined year over year, and in turn dealers tried to increase personal customer care and special orders to keep customers happy, according to J.D. Power.

Brands with the least customer satisfaction this year were also some of the worst last year and are all owned by the same parent company. Premium brands generally rank higher in customer satisfaction, at 806 on average, than mass market brands, which rank 782 on average. However, a premium brand takes the prize for having the worst dealers in America. Interestingly, many of the brands with the worst dealer satisfaction are nowhere close to America’s worst car brands.

Click here to see the car brand that has the worst dealer in America.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.