Manufacturers' websites are hindering car sales

by Helen Jackson |
posted 12 January 2018

According to a new study, car fleet manufacturers are missing significant sales opportunities because of poorly designed websites.

The Manufacturer Website Evaluation, by Sewells Research & Insight, tasked 200 user-tester (who had free choice of a company car) to find vital information on the websites of 28 manufacturers. Their experiences were then backed-up by an independent online mystery shop, and further assessed by an industry expert.

The exercise highlighted the huge variations in response times and the user-friendly nature of each site. So how did each manufacturer perform?


Peugeot typically responded to email enquiries within an hour. While other manufacturers took up to four days or even failed completely to follow up enquiries.


Overall, company car drivers rated Hyundai’s website the highest. Awarding it top marks both for its ease of use and for the simplicity of booking a test drive.

BMW and Vauxhall

Came second and third respectively in the rankings. Both manufacturers performing strongly in key areas, such as ease of navigation and benefit in kind tax calculators.

Sewells assessed each manufacturer website across 10 criteria:

  1. Navigation

  2. Reliability

  3. Ease of use

  4. Dealer locator

  5. Car configurator

  6. Company car tax calculator

  7. Test drive booking

  8. Speed of email response

  9. Live chat response

  10. Site functionality on a mobile device

Skoda, Kia and Land Rover were judged to have the best car configurators. Vauxhall and Honda excelled when it came to company car tax calculators. Peugeot, Kia, Infiniti and Nissan were the fastest to respond to mystery shop email enquiries.

Simon Staplehurst, Commercial Research Director at Sewells Research & Insight said:

“Our research repeatedly shows that company car drivers start their search for a new car online. This report found that several major motor manufacturers are falling at this first hurdle, denying themselves and their dealer's potential sales.”

With fleet and business sales accounting for more than 57% of all new car sales in 2017, the ability to satisfy the web demands of company car drivers is seen as an essential marketing tool for every manufacturer.


Helen Jackson
Helen Jackson

Helen is part of the marketing team here at Money4yourMotors. Helen oversees a wide range of marketing activities including social media and content creation.