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Handbooks Help 93% of Drivers

Sat, 09 Aug 2008
A survey of 2,000 Peugeot drivers shows that:

79% of have consulted their handbook and learned about features on their car that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

93% of drivers have read / do actually read their handbook.

82% feel it necessary to have a paper copy of the handbook rather than access the information online.

The myriad of jargon associated with new cars is mind boggling for even the most technical brain. Drivers are constantly provided with so much technology these days that most might not know whether to de-activate the ESP, know if they even have EBFD, and how to set the RT4 even before pulling away. Due to this escalating number of features, and abbreviations, drivers are turning increasingly to their vehicle handbook in order to get to grips with the technology, according to a recent survey of over 2,030 drivers (survey conducted through the Peugeot Torque-Talk online panel).

Almost 90% of respondents confirmed they had used their handbook, with a staggering 80% admitting to actually using their owner’s manual to find specific information about a feature of their vehicle – a statistic that flies in the face of conventional ‘wisdom’. However just 7% of customers said they would go to a local dealer for this information and only 8% said they would look for it online.

From the thousands of responses Peugeot received, 83.1% said they would want car manufacturers to stick to the traditional car handbook rather than see it transferred online, and stressed the importance of having it handy in their vehicles.

“What we found most interesting about our handbook survey is that our customers learnt the most about the features of their car they didn’t know they had, from its handbook. 79% indicated that had they not read their handbook, these features would have gone unnoticed,” said Andy Bye, Director – Quality at Peugeot. “This just goes to show how essential the handbook is, and with ever more sophisticated vehicles on today’s market, the handbook is essential!

“The survey has been an eye opener and has given us feedback from customers so we can now look at ways of improving the information we give in our handbooks. It also suggests that customers are happy with the current format and would not like to see the information taken online or removed from the vehicle.”

Peugeot drivers refer to their handbooks on average once or twice a year with 29% reading it to find out about a specific feature.

Comments from customers included:
“I use the handbook to refresh how seldom-used features operate”
“How can you get the best out of your car if you don’t know how it works properly? Reading owner’s manual is a must!”
“Always good for looking at fuses for electrical system, please don’t put it online or do away with it, you need it to hand when you are in the car”

Items often fitted that customers benefit from might include the selectable directional headlamps on 207, the ambient interior lighting on 308 or voice activation on the satellite navigation system with the possibility of audible text messaging (it can read out a text in voice synthesis), and there are many, many more features that enhance the satisfaction of driving a Peugeot.

For information ESP means Electronic Stability Programme, EBFD stands for Electronic Brake Force Distribution and RT4 is Peugeot’s Radio & Telematics system.

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