How dealerships can help the Christmas budget dilemma

How dealerships can help the Christmas budget dilemma


While 2015 saw the average British household spend just under £800 over the festive season, recent studies suggest 2016 could prove even more costly. According to research carried out by the Centre for Retail Research, UK Christmas spending is expected to hit a record £77.56bn, almost double the European average.

During a time of Christmas budgeting, we're all under pressure to funnel our money into the festivities and delay any non-urgent financial outlays in order to free-up some seasonal spending funds. Unfortunately, these 'non-urgent expenditures often extend to winter servicing and car repairs. Deterred not least by the prospect of the upfront payments these require, there is often a temptation for motorists to underplay the importance of car checks and maintenance; a decision which could have severe implications for road safety. (Indeed, the Christmas period tends to coincide with a peak in road accidents!)

Discounts vs payment plans

Aware of the tendency for motorists to delay car servicing and repairs during the Christmas period, many dealerships choose the option of giving discounts to entice customers. Although a good idea in theory, in practice this is far from ideal. Not only does this eat into a dealership's profits, it does very little to resolve the problem of motorists having to pay out a lump sum upfront at a time when funds are destined to be spent on the highstreet.

As an alternative, interest free payment plans offer a much more practical solution, one which, crucially, has the potential to benefit both the motorist and the dealership. For drivers, payment plans offer the flexibility to 'fix now, pay later'. Payment dates can be arranged according to personal preference, meaning that instalments can be scheduled for after the festive rush. Motorists are given peace of mind that their vehicle is in safe working order and financial outlay is fully controlled. Dealerships on the other hand can charge full price for a service / repairs with no reduction in profit, while still demonstrating their duty of care to the customer.

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