British motorists more careful than ever when buying cars

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Eight in ten do ‘careful research’ before buying a new or second-hand vehicle

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Britons may have lost their impulsive side when it comes to buying their cars – with almost eight out of 10 motorists opting to carefully research their next vehicle instead of merely acting on a whim.

That’s according to a survey of 2,000 UK motorists undertaken by GAP insurance provider InsuretheGap. It also found that there’s little distinction between the population, with motorists across all genders and age groups equally cautious on the forecourts.

The survey also found that for most buyers, practical considerations still rate over emotional ones when considering a new vehicle. Of those surveyed, 71 per cent said that head wins over heart – with value for money, fuel efficiency and reliability rating above looks.

Despite this, buyers still want a taste of that glamorous ‘new car’ experience when purchasing – even if their wallets suffer for it. A brand-new vehicle with the ‘new car look and feel’ would sway 28 per cent of buyers, with men more easily swayed – 31 per cent of them wanted a brand new car, compared with 24 per cent of women.


It’s also men who care the most about looks. 30 per cent of those surveyed admitted to going over their initial budget in order to get themselves a desirable-looking car – that’s in comparison to just 21 per cent of women. Younger age groups were also guilty – 41 per cent of those under 34 were concerned about their car’s looks, compared with just 19 per cent of those over 55.

Ben Wooltorton, chief operating officer of InsuretheGap 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.

“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.”

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