ALMOST a quarter of buyers (24 per cent) have been put off buying a second-hand car because of the smell of wet dog fur, children’s sick or stale cigarettes, according to a new poll by AA Cars.
The AA Populus poll quizzed 18,741 AA members on whether they have ever been deterred from buying a used car and why. It revealed that almost four-in-ten (38 per cent) respondents have not followed through with a purchase because the service history either had gaps in it or revealed a lot of past repair work.
The poll also found that 24 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women have walked away from a purchase because of an incomplete service history.
According to the data, when buying second-hand, buyers still expect the vehicle to be in tip-top condition, with a further 38 per cent being turned off because the bodywork was in poor condition. Almost a third (31 per cent) withdrew from a purchase because of an imperfect interior.
Meanwhile, more than a third (37 per cent) of buyers have not proceeded with buying a car because it didn’t feel right on the test drive. One in nine (13 per cent) pulled out of a purchase because the seller wouldn’t let them take the car out for a test drive.
The AA-Populus poll revealed the Welsh are the most discerning when it comes to the car’s condition, while Londoners seem to be the least selective. Four-in-ten (41 per cent) Welsh buyers have been put off a purchase because the exterior bodywork was in poor condition, compared to just 33 per cent of London buyers. Meanwhile, 30 per cent of Londoners have dropped out of buying a used car after it didn’t feel right during a test drive, compared to 40 per cent of buyers in the South West.
The poll also revealed that over 65s are most likely to buy a used car that isn’t in top condition, while 18 to 24-year-olds are least likely to buy a car if the bodywork and interior are in poor condition.
Paul Yates, MD of AA Cars, said: ‘Buying a used car shouldn’t mean buying a bad car but there are simple checks you can do, whether you’re buying through a dealer or privately.
‘Ask to see the service history and, if it’s incomplete or shows lots of repair work, that could be a warning sign. A history check will also rule out insurance write-offs and stolen cars. We automatically remove these vehicles from AA Cars.’
He added: ‘If you’re unsure if a car is in good mechanical condition or not, it’s worth having an independent inspection carried out through a reputable company such as the AA, or buy through a dealer who has independently inspected cars. From our experience, an independent inspection allays most fears and ensures complete transparency when buying from a dealer.’
The following table shows the reasons why buyers across the UK have been put off purchasing a used car.
|Scot||NE||NW||Yorks||W Mids||E Mids||Wales||East||London||SE||SW|
|Bodywork in poor condition||38%||40%||38%||36%||39%||39%||41%||39%||33%||38%||38%|
|Car didn’t feel right on test drive||36%||38%||37%||36%||38%||39%||39%||38%||30%||36%||40%|
|Interior in poor condition||31%||31%||31%||29%||32%||34%||33%||31%||28%||30%||31%|
|Interior didn’t smell right (wet dog, child sick, cigarettes)||25%||22%||25%||23%||24%||25%||24%||24%||19%||22%||25%|
|Service history incomplete||21%||22%||22%||21%||22%||23%||23%||23%||22%||23%||23%|
|Service history showed a lot of repair work||15%||15%||13%||16%||16%||17%||15%||14%||15%||16%||16%|
|Vehicle registration document (V5C) wasn’t available||15%||15%||15%||14%||15%||16%||16%||15%||14%||15%||16%|
|Seller wouldn’t allow test-drive||13%||13%||13%||13%||14%||13%||16%||13%||11%||13%||13%|
|Car had tyre sealant kit instead of spare tyre||13%||14%||15%||13%||13%||13%||13%||13%||11%||12%||11%|
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