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Car Purchasers 'Need To Do Their Homework'

Sep 5, 2007
Drivers lack confidence when it comes to buying a car, a new study suggests.

In research released by AA Insurance, 80 per cent of those looking to get a vehicle claim that they would not make their purchase from an independent used-car company for fear of coming across an unscrupulous dealer "and leaving with a banger rather than a Bentley".

Overall, more than half (54 per cent) of those surveyed feel that they do not understand enough about cars to help them know what they should be looking for in a prospective vehicle. As a result, 40 per cent of respondents are concerned that they may end up with an inappropriate automobile. Meanwhile, a third (33 per cent) are worried that they could be overpaying for their car, which consequently could see them develop difficulties in managing their money after taking up a showroom finance deal or paying back the personal loan taken out to fund the purchase.

The findings also indicated that 59 per cent of Britons find all car salespeople untrustworthy, with only nine per cent opting to get advice from a dealership when considering making a purchase. Making use of the internet, however, was shown to be a much more popular method of researching cars, as 20 per cent visit expert websites. Meanwhile, 15 per cent go on chat rooms and messageboards to help them get advice on what to look for. Just under a quarter were shown to consult family and friends for guidance.

Janet Pell, head of AA Car Insurance, said: "Purchasing a car can be intimidating for many people, especially if they encounter up-selling and are not sure of what to look for or what questions to ask the dealer. Before you buy, it's really important to do your homework and make sure you know what you want, what you're willing to pay and key things to check for to ensure you feel confident on the forecourt or wherever you choose to look for your next vehicle."

In addition, research from the company showed that just over a fifth of Britons do not know what they should look for when purchasing a new set of wheels, as less than half of car owners in the country claim to find it "very easy" to purchase a vehicle. As a result of such concerns, 31 per cent of those people surveyed by AA were worried that they would find faults with a car soon after purchasing it. Meanwhile, one in ten are apprehensive that they have unintentionally bought a "clocked" car, in which the speedometer has been reversed to indicate a lower mileage than is actually the case.

In May, research conducted by Sainsbury's Bank showed that failure to know the market value of cars and an unwillingness to haggle could see those purchasing a second-hand car losing out on hundreds of pounds. With the study indicating that 22.23 billion pounds is set to be spent on used vehicles in the six-month period leading up to the present, loans manager Steven Baillie advised consumers to bargain even though the majority are unwilling to do so. Findings from the company also revealed that 17 per cent of such transactions are to be funded via a personal loan, with Mr Baillie recommending that consumers take the time to consider their financing options.
About the Author
Tom Dawson writes for Essentially Home Loans. Our visitors can apply online for secured personal loans and debt consolidation loans at the lowest interest rates.
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