A reputation for pushy sales tactics and negative online reviews are the top reasons why drivers would be deterred from visiting or buying from a used car dealer, analysis by AA Cars, the AA’s used car website, has found.
A reputation for pushy sales tactics would dissuade almost a fifth (19%) of motorists, while 18% of car buyers see negative online reviews of a dealer as a turn-off. Online reviews are especially decisive among younger drivers, with 37% of those aged 18-24 saying they would avoid a dealer if they read about other motorists’ bad experiences on the internet first.
The AA-Populus poll of 17,230 drivers found that other factors which would put motorists off buying are a dealer who is reluctant to allow a reasonable test drive (12%), stock that does not look as though it has been cleaned or moved for a long time (12%) and a dealer’s lack of familiarity with the cars for sale (11%).
Online portals are playing a greater role in used car sales as they are creating more transparency in the marketplace and are making it easier for motorists to buy with confidence. Half (49%) of drivers said their car-buying process consists of searching online first, and then only visiting dealers who have a specific car for sale.
The poll found that nearly three in 10 (28%) motorists would first form an idea of what type or size of car they were looking for, before visiting only one or two dealers to see what they have to offer.
Surprisingly, the range of stock available at a particular dealership doesn’t seem to carry much weight as only 4% of buyers said a limited range of stock would be off-putting.
James Fairclough, CEO ofAA Carscomments: “When it comes to buying a used car, trust in the dealer is critical, which is why buyers place great emphasis on a dealer’s reputation and online reviews when choosing where to buy from.
“Motorists want to know that they will receive a high quality service before they even arrive at the forecourt, and they do not want to feel pressured into a sale once they get there.
“Services like AA Cars provide consumers with reassurance about the experience they can expect when they reach the forecourt. All dealers listed on AA Cars are signed up to our ‘10-point Dealer Promise’ scheme, which aims to develop new levels of trust between buyers and dealers. Included in the Promise, dealers commit to allowing a test drive of any of their vehicles, get 12 months breakdown cover and AA Cars will help you should any issues arise.
“Buyers also enjoy important protection under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, which gives them a ‘right to return’ a car if it develops a fault in the first thirty days of ownership – or to ask for a repair in the first six months after it was bought.
“However, we encourage buyers to consider having their chosen vehicle independently inspected first, before they buy, so that they can drive away safe in the knowledge that they are buying a reliable and safe car.”