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‘Catastrophes’ see nearly a fifth of new car buyers look to replace vehicle

Time 1 year ago

A ‘catastrophe’ is the reason almost a fifth of new car buyers want to replace their current vehicle, according to latest research by What Car?

A survey of 1,534 in-market purchasers by the new car buying platform found 18 per cent urgently needing a replacement because of a ‘catastrophe’ such as a breakdown or accident, and they didn’t want to wait for a factory-ordered car.

They were also much more likely to want a test drive, with nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) stating they had tried out a number of cars, sparing them in-depth research elsewhere.


Nearly half of ‘catastrophe’ purchasers changed their mind a lot, and those who did were found to underspend.

Getting a good price or a finance deal was a major priority for these buyers too, the poll for What Car?’s weekly Insight report found, with more than half considering it an important aspect.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: ‘Qualifying customers and understanding their needs is more important for retailers now than ever – but this study highlights just how many buyers are in an urgent need for a new car, and just how different their needs are compared with those of the majority of buyers.

‘With nearly one in five buyers self-identifying in this category, they are clearly a demographic retailers cannot afford to ignore – especially given that they enter the showroom with a longer shortlist to consider but with less time to contemplate a buying decision.


‘It’s evident that dealers having adequate stock, being able to organise test drives at short notice and being accommodating on price and finance are all especially important to catastrophe buyers.’

Meanwhile, in a separate survey of 7,258 in-market buyers, What Car? found that more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of them wouldn’t contact a dealer again if it didn’t get in touch after a first inquiry about a new vehicle.

Only 25 per cent would do so – but just one more time.

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John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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