When buying a car, the choice of engine is crucial. Therefore, it is crucial to ask the right questions to choose the vehicle that suits your needs. This is even more important because, according to our survey, dealer dealers do not always focus on real needs and, in the end, do not always offer the right advice.
Adequacy of speech
According to the scenario posed by our researchers (see methodology), we wanted to know if the vendors offered the most suitable engine for the advertised use.
A la gasoline stage, without further difficulty for dealers, as 81% of them have been oriented towards gasoline vehicles, and therefore towards the expected motorization. 18% proposed an acceptable engine (hybrid or electric), but not optimal for this profile. Only 1% did not get it right and recommended a diesel.
For electric motorization, big fault: the sellers are not playing. Indeed, a majority (64%) recommended an acceptable engine, here gasoline, but that was not what was expected. 1% went back to diesel and in the end, only 35% turned to the right engine. This observation, contrary to the current trend of ecological trends and government initiatives in the field of greenhouse gas reduction, seems to indicate a lack of mastery of the matter by marketers or, a fortiori, a concern to identify the profiles. to which this engine would be suitable.
lateral diesel stage, it’s even worse! Only 20% of dealers gave good advice and switched to diesel. Here again a big mistake: for a diesel profile of a large wheeled vehicle, the diesel engine is still the most suitable because, at the same power, it turns out to be less greedy and emits less CO2 than an essence. 5% of dealerships still offered an electric or hybrid to this profile, and 76% offered gasoline, acceptable but not ideal.
Per the plug-in hybrid, the score is the lowest and only 9% of sellers go to this type of car. As for the electrical scenario, we highlight that habits are dying, with 88% of recommendations for gasoline and 3% for diesel.
Additional cost of net energy
Ranging from € 2,500 to over € 8,000, the added cost of a clean, electric or rechargeable hybrid motor is a reality. And this seems to be the uneasiness of the sellers because only 32% raised the issue spontaneously during the exchange with the interviewers. 1/3 of them had to ask the question, and for the remaining 35%, the point was not even addressed.
Asked about the payback period of the extra cost of a green car, 75% of sellers advertised 4 years, with no significant difference between a rechargeable hybrid or an electric motor. This statement is unfortunately very optimistic and especially wrong for electric motorization. In fact, the average additional cost of an electric car (all models together) will have to be repaid between € 8 and € 10 per year, at a charge of € 2.50 per 100 km.
Careless access to the dam
This question is essential, because our usage studies show that the vast majority of users of electrical systems (all-electric or rechargeable hybrids) are still reluctant to use terminals outside the home. Thus, during the mysterious visits, 37% of sellers did not ask about access to the dam, even if the selected car was plug-in hybrid or electric.
As for the price of the installation, the dealers declare an average price of € 833 for the installation of a domestic charging station.
The appointment is often forgotten
Dealers cannot be said to be inclined to give an estimate. Only 64% do it, all brands together. In the detail of the historic French manufacturers, Peugeot is doing well because 73% of dealers of the lion brand have made an estimate to the researcher. This score drops to 64% for Renault, but drops to 48% for Citroën.
However, the good news is, among the quotation proposals, the final price was in line with the initial budget in 76% of cases. The others were upstairs.
It should be noted that 72% of dealers surveyed granted a commercial discount to mystery shoppers. Among the three French manufacturers, Peugeot is the most subsidized, with a rate of 85%, followed by Citroën (78%) and Renault (75%). Feel free to negotiate a bit with the seller.
The protocol of our research
Between March 5 and 19, 2022, researchers from 76 local UFC-Que Choisir associations tested the speech of sellers from 402 dealerships located in 55 departments of mainland France and Reunion. To do this, we have established 4 usage scenarios corresponding to a type of engine: diesel, electric, gasoline and plug-in hybrid. Each was based on 3 main criteria: the number of kilometers traveled annually, the proportion of very short journeys (less than 10 km), short journeys (50 km), medium journeys (300 km) and long journeys (900 km) and , finally, the place of residence (apartment or house) that determines an easy access to the dam.