If you have read my previous article, you will be aware of the issues that UK buyers are facing when it comes to purchasing a car. Since this point, I have come across further issues pertaining to buyers who specifically require a car fitted with ADAS technology.
Since I last wrote, my husband and I finally settled upon a brand-new Skoda Kodiaq and have reluctantly prepared ourselves for the four month turn around. Yawn.
Having contacted our local dealership, a salesperson responded with various quotes for the Kodiaq SE L, DSG Petrol, including SatNav and rear-view camera at my request.
After much back and forth, a £1000 cash bonus and free car mats (obviously the ice breaker), we finally settle on a deal. Great. We ‘virtually’ shake hands and pay the £500 deposit post haste. I was somewhat disgruntled at the lack of ADAS knowledge; however this appears to be an ongoing problem.
Excited by my new purchase, I spent the following morning watching YouTube videos of the Kodiaq before stumbling across a video by a company called Carwow. I soon learn that Carwow is in fact a car buying comparison site which compares offers on new & nearly new cars from top rated local and national UK dealers.
Out of interest, I select: Kodiaq SE L, 1.5tsi DSG in Magic Pearl Black with a rear-view camera. Before long, I receive my first quote – somewhat surprisingly it is from the same dealership that I purchased my car from yesterday.
Astonishingly, they offer me the same car at a cheaper price?!
As you can imagine I am none too pleased. Naturally, I make a phone call to discuss this with the dealership. I was informed: “we do not have to tell you about Carwow, however, now that you have found the website of your own accord, we will now honour the quote price”. Bonus.
Out of curiosity, I decide to submit another quote through Carwow, this time adding a selection of luxury options which appeal to me, just to see the price. I select the following:
- Travel Assist Pack: ACC, BLISS, Lane Departure, Traffic Sign Recognition
- Family Pack: Waste Bin, Folding Rear Blinds, Electric Child Lock, and Door Bumpers
- Area View Camera
- Canton Sound System
To my absolute amazement, the quote comes back, and it is still cheaper than my original purchase price. My mind is made up, this is the car I would dream to own (I opted out of Park Assist because I very rarely parallel park).
However, there a slight issue…
According to Skoda, it is not possible to have the Area view camera without adding the Electronically adjustable driver’s seat with memory function:
In addition to this, it appears I am also unable to have the Area view camera alongside the Travel assist pack:
This is becoming increasingly frustrating, having worked in ADAS testing for many years, I have seen many cars which feature these add-ons together.
In an attempt to understand why this is not possible in my case, I ask the dealership if they can speak to anyone to find out. I am told they cannot, apparently it is all done through a computer system and if it states that the options are not possible, that is final. Fantastic.
I take it upon myself to contact Skoda, who prove to be equally as unhelpful; customer service has limited technical knowledge as they are not the sales department. Notwithstanding, I ask to be put through to someone who can answer my questions…
According to Skoda’s website, it is indeed possible to add Area View Camera, ACC, Lane Departure, BLISS and Traffic Sign Recognition, all separately. However, it costs a whooping £2000 extra than the travel assist pack.
So, as frustrating as this is, it appears it comes down to profit; in order to add value ‘pack’ options, there are hidden caveats, ultimately making you spend more.
Had the dealership explained this to me when I questioned the add on structure, it would have saved much time and effort. It’s safe to say that I am unimpressed and at this point very disappointed.
Once again, this experience has led me to ask the following questions:
- Why aren’t dealership employees and customers taught more about ADAS features? Not to mention the lack of ADAS knowledge world-wide.
- Why do manufacturers make it as difficult as possible for customers to have the add-on’s they require? Profit?
- Are manufacturers changing the specs of the cars but not updating anyone?