Used Cars - Buyer Considerations

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Used Cars - Buyer Considerations

Our research team found that the most critical factors for people in Europe when buying used cars are price, supported by about 41 percent of consumers, low mileage (32 percent), and model/make (31 percent).


According to the most recent data from Statista regarding the key factors people in the region consider when buying used cars, at the tip of the checklist are price, low mileage, and model. With 41%, 32%, and 31% respectively, these three factors easily outdo fuel option, with only 13% saying this was an important characteristic when shopping for used cars.
The other factors to consider when buying used cars for motorists from this region are engine size (17%), body type (17%), age of the vehicle (14%), looks/style (12%), insurance group (9%), safety (9%), specification (8%), color (6%), and environmental consideration (3%).


Price remains the most important factor for consumers when shopping for used cars. According to a study by Cox Automotive UK, "a low price and a transparent or fair price are the same in the consumer’s mind." However, only 20 percent of consumers prefer the lowest price, and 80 percent want a fair price. "Fair" pricing means competitive pricing while "transparent" pricing means a similar price for the same used car online or elsewhere is reflected at the dealership.
The study also found that used car buyers (nearly 90%) will select dealers based on the following factors: fair prices, "transparency of dealer service departments and the competitiveness finance rates dealers offer."
Additionally, Cox polling also indicates that consumers are frustrated when it comes to negotiating a purchase price (39%), while only 27 percent and 21 percent report frustrations with filling out paperwork and negotiating a trade-in value, respectively.
Statista's findings show that the prices of used cars affect different age groups in the region differently. Price is the most important factor in purchasing a used car for 67% of those aged 17 to 24, 63 percent of those aged 25 to 44, and is moderate (44%) for those aged 65 and over.


The other key consideration for consumers of used cars in the region is mileage. According to Statista's most recent report regarding buyers who consider mileage critical when buying a used car, by the value of the last car purchased, "the lowest proportion of those surveyed who rated the car's mileage significant were in the groups that had paid either the lowest or the highest amount for their most recent used car." Twenty-three percent for those who paid up to £1,000 considered mileage important, thirty-nine and thirty-eight of those who paid between £2,001 and £3,000, and £3,001 and £5,000, respectively considered it critical.


The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports the following models as the most popular used cars bought by consumers in Britain. They are Ford Fiesta — 360,868 sales, Ford Focus — 322,532 sales, Vauxhall Corsa313,702 sales, Volkswagen Golf — 262,508 sales, and Vauxhall Astra 262,201 sales.


  • A survey conducted by the Centre for Automotive Management, University of Buckingham Business School indicates that nearly 28 percent of used cars' consumers cite the personal experience of the model (28%) and views of family and friends (26%) as the "most powerful influence when thinking about what used car to buy next."
  • This survey also found that price range, brand, and model range motivates 59 percent, 41%, and 35 percent, respectively of shoppers of used cars when searching for a car.
  • Nearly "a third of motorists cited they 'couldn’t afford a new car' as the over-riding reason they bought a used car last time, 22% think they 'offer better value for money,' while 15% of car owners believe there is ‘lower depreciation with used cars’."

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