Getting your car serviced at the dealership, whether it be for warranty repairs or regularly scheduled maintenance, is an often-overlooked part of the car ownership experience, but it is one of the most important aspects when it comes to retaining customer loyalty. A positive dealer experience can greatly affect overall customer satisfaction and, from the carmaker’s perspective, increase the likelihood a customer will return to the same brand for their second vehicle.

With all the economic doom and gloom eroding new car sales around the globe, the issue of retaining existing customers is now crucial for carmakers. So which brands are doing it right and which aren’t looking so good we hear you ask?

According to influential industry analysts J.D. Power and Associates, Lexus currently offers the best dealer service experience of all the carmakers. To come to the result, the research firm surveyed verified owners of three to five-year-old vehicles to measure their satisfaction with dealer service. Respondents, of which there were more than 106,000, were asked to rate their dealers based on service quality, initiation, advice, facilities, and vehicle pickup and delivery.

Aspects customers valued most included high levels of service for non-warranty jobs, the ability to provide loaner cars, and friendly staff.

Lexus ranked the highest with a score of 835 out of a possible 1,000 points, moving up from last year's ranking of fourth. Jaguar came in second on 810 points after ranking highest in 2008 and 2007. BMW was third with 808 points, followed closely by Cadillac on 806 and Acura on 805 points.

The best ten brands is as follows:
1) Lexus – 835
2) Jaguar – 810
3) BMW – 808
4) Cadillac – 806
5) Acura – 805
6) Hummer – 804
7) Land Rover – 803
8) Buick – 802
9) Saturn – 800
10) Lincoln – 792

The worst ten brands is as follows:
1) Suzuki – 702
2) Mazda – 716
3) Nissan – 723
4) Kia - 724
5) Volkswagen – 725
6) Jeep – 727
7) Subaru – 729
8) Dodge – 734
9) Toyota – 737
10) Scion - 739