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Three quarters of Brits won’t buy a car without viewing it first, says survey

Three quarters of Brits won’t buy a car without viewing it first, says survey

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Many drivers see viewing a vehicle as vital in the buying process, despite the rise of online selling.

New research suggests the number of Brits willing to buy a car without viewing it first has fallen since last year.

Despite dealers offering more online-only services than ever – particularly since the coronavirus pandemic – three-quarters of UK motorists said they wouldn’t buy a car without seeing it in person.

A fifth of 17,000 drivers surveyed by The AA said they had bought a car unseen, a fall from 24 per cent who said the same last year.

Sixty-two per cent of those who had bought a car without viewing it bought a new car from a main dealer, with the remaining 38 per cent having bought used.

Perhaps surprisingly, young people were the least likely to buy unseen, with 84 per cent of 18-24-year-olds and 80 per cent of 25-34-year-olds saying they wouldn’t buy without seeing the car.

Meanwhile, 80 per cent of women said they wouldn’t buy without viewing, compared with 73 per cent of men.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars said:

It has been widely assumed that more drivers would choose to buy a car unseen if they are unable to visit a forecourt in person.Yet our data from the lockdown period suggests only a minority of drivers would want to buy a car without viewing it first, and shows people still value the reassurance of seeing a vehicle in person before parting with their money.

Buyers know they can carry out extensive research online to compare prices and check a car’s history before they choose to buy — but nothing compares to seeing a vehicle up close and getting a feel for it during a test drive. With social distancing remaining in place, it is recommended that people continue to carry out their research online first, and compare prices at dealerships before booking an appointment to see the cars they are interested in.

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