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Distance to dealers proves main stumbling block when it comes to buying a used car, new research finds

  • Top 10 consumer barriers to buying a used car are revealed via poll for RAC Dealer Network
  • Research shows real-world priorities of buyers on used car journey
  • Close proximity, good descriptions and being able to talk to someone are main three deciding factors

Time 10:34 am, December 1, 2021

Having to travel too far to see a vehicle is the top barrier to buying a used car.

That’s according to latest research for the RAC Dealer Network, which found that 46 per cent of 1,164 people polled gave distance as their main barrier when asked which factors might stop them from buying a car.

Second highest was a lack of detail in the description (44 per cent), followed  by an absence of someone to speak to easily at 43 per cent and a dealer not being accredited (42 per cent).


Kellie Grocott, RAC director of sales at Assurant, which partners with the RAC in the warranty and aftersales sectors, said: ‘This research provides a fascinating insight into the real-world priorities of used car buyers when it comes to important trigger points in the customer journey.

Top 10 consumer barriers to buying a used car, via RAC Dealer Network, Nov 2021_

The top 10 consumer barriers to buying a used car, according to the RAC Dealer Network. Source: Harris Interactive

‘What it shows is that customers, more than anything, value service and convenience factors such as proximity to the dealership, a good vehicle description and being able to reach someone to talk to about the car in which they are interested.’

She added that it was noteworthy that reputation was also important.

‘It’s interesting that 42 per cent of buyers are looking for some form of accreditation from their dealer, as this is a subject that is, we believe, not often discussed among car retailers. It does show a desire for some form of consumer reassurance.


‘Findings elsewhere in our research underlined this customer aspiration. We also asked which factors were important when it came to buying a used car and 55 per cent of respondents named “a reputable seller” while 33 per cent cited “reassurance that a dealer confirms to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-accredited code”.

‘This is an area where we feel that the RAC Dealer Network scores very highly, thanks to the presence of the RAC brand and, when it comes to RAC Approved Dealers, our relationship with the CTSI.’

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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