Customer satisfaction improves when buying new car

Consumers are generally quite satisfied when they go about the purchase process for a new car, a new study indicates.

According to global marketing information firm J.D. Power and Associates, on a 1,000-point scale, overall satisfaction averaged 648, improving 13 points when compared to 2010, when it averaged 635.

Consumers' contentment was determined through a variety of measures, including working out a deal with the salesperson, the delivery process, the facilities of the dealership, inventory, experience with negotiating and fairness of price. All of the measures improved when contrasted with similar testing conducted in 2010.

The survey also analyzed the average amount of time buyers spend at dealerships, which increased by 11 minutes. Carbuyers now spend an average of about 4.3 hours shopping for a new vehicle.

"It would intuitively seem that buyers are most satisfied when the sales process is completed in the shortest amount of time possible," said Jim Gaz, director of automotive research at J.D. Power. "However, buyers actually appreciate it when sales staff spends additional time with them, as long as that time provides them with added value."

What can add frustration and dissatisfaction for consumers are difficulties with buying vehicles due to unfair or inaccurate marks left on their credit reports. These may prevent them from being able to purchase a vehicle if they are denied financing.