How Britons choose their cars in 2019 revealed in new survey
Britons buying new cars this March are a sensible bunch, according to a new Opinium survey, mostly diligently researching cars before picking one; however, it also found plenty of people swayed by emotional factors from how good a car looks to whether it had that new car ‘look and feel’.
Overall, an impressive 78 per cent, of the 2,000 UK drivers surveyed, do careful research before buying a new or second-hand car including checking its fuel efficiency, safety and general reliability record. This figure is the same for men and women and across all age groups.
The survey also found that for a majority of car buyers practicality overrides looks, with over two-thirds (71 per cent) saying that finding a car that is reasonably priced, fuel-efficient, reliable and easy-to-fix is more important than how it looks. Interestingly, almost one in ten car buyers use a car checking service, provided by organisations like the AA and RAC, to give a used car the once over before buying (9 per cent men v 7 per cent women).
The research, commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, a leading supplier of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance for new and second-hand cars, also finds, however, that while the days of fast, flash car purchases may be largely over, Britons are still getting their heads turned for emotional, as well as practical, reasons.
When it comes to second-hand versus new, a brand new car with that all important new car ‘look and feel’ is enough to sway over a quarter (28 per cent) of buyers, even if it costs a lot more. Men (31 per cent) are more likely than women (24 per cent) to want a brand new car, as well as under 34s (35 per cent); and regionally, Londoners (43 per cent) and the North East of England (37 per cent) prefer new to second-hand.
It is also important to some buyers, particularly men, that a car ‘looks good’. Almost a third of men (30 per cent) admit to going over budget for a car that ‘looks good’, compared to only a fifth (21 per cent) of women. The North East of England (32 per cent) is again the region most likely to blow the budget for a ‘good-looking’ car, while car buyers in the East of England (20 per cent) are the least likely to do this. Once again, younger age groups (41 per cent of under 34s) are more concerned with a car that ‘looks good’, than older people (only 19 per cent of over 55s).
The survey also found that almost a sixth (14 per cent) of car buyers would love to have an additional, ‘fun’ car, like a sports car or classic car, as well as their everyday car (17 per cent men v 10 per cent women).
Ben Wooltorton, chief operating office of InsuretheGap.com said: “Buying a car is a massive investment and it pays to do some serious research by reading the trade press, looking at plenty of reviews, and researching costs beyond the simple purchase price, such as the cost of servicing and parts, as well as the potential future trade-in value of the car you’re considering. After all, not all cars depreciate at the same rate or cost the same amount to fix and it’s important to factor this into the overall cost of ownership.
“Be brutally honest with yourself too: the two-door convertible sports car may not be the best thing for a family of four with a dog, however tempting it may be. We can all relate to the fact that perhaps the car that meets our practical needs is not necessarily the car of our dreams.”