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‘Dealers must be flexible as new and used car buying patterns change’

Time 6 years ago

THE traditional differences between new and used car buyers are being eroded, according to the latest research from Motors.co.uk.

Whereas second-hand cars used to be the preserve of first-time drivers and those on tight budgets, the growth in new car deals and monthly payment offers has altered the buying decisions of both new and used car customers.

The research, carried out with more than 700 buyers across the UK, delved into the reasons behind buying decisions. Of those consumers who bought a new car, more than a third (34 per cent) of respondents chose new over used because of cheaper running costs. On the other hand, a quarter (25 per cent) bought a new car because of the headline discount offered.


This shows that manufacturer marketing and dealer offers are working – consumers are buying into the affordability of new cars.

Looking at used car buyers, nearly two thirds (60 per cent) said they would be influenced into buying a new car if there was a significant discount on the headline price. Conversely, of new car buyers, more than a third (35 per cent) were considering a used car, which highlights the scope for improving communication on used car portfolios when they’re on the forecourt.

This insight shows that if a dealer wants the buyer at their dealership to consider both the new and used stock, then they need to communicate the running costs of all vehicles concisely, as well as the discounts and finance packages available on both.

Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk, said: ‘We all know that sales of new cars are on the rise but it’s important to understand the specific reasons behind these purchases if the end goal is to sell a mixed portfolio of new and used.


‘The franchised dealer needs to ensure they have the ideal used stock and availability of new inventory to capture the consumer’s enquiry and deliver on their requests. In addition, it is important to understand the need to be flexible around the delivery expectations of the customer to ensure that stock positioning maximises the profit opportunity.’

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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