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Third of buyers would consider buying a car they haven't seen

Published 24 August 2018

One in three drivers would consider buying a car they have not seen in the metal, according to new research. 

Automotive video specialist CitNOW surveyed 2000 second-hand car buyers about their shopping habits and found that a third would consider parting with their cash after seeing a picture or video of the vehicle. 

Nine out of 10 said they would ignore an advert if it didn’t have suitable images, while half of those questioned said they considered a video tour an essential part of the car buying process.

>>> 10 steps to buying a used car

Seven out of 10 surveyed said they would consider travelling further to view a used car if they were sent a personalised video first. 

Since the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, buyers have had the automatic right to reject a vehicle that doesn't meet the specified standards within 30 days for a full refund. This has sparked a growing trend of 'virtual tours' and online car shopping, with buyers safe in the knowledge that they are protected by law if the vehicle is faulty or not as described. However, while the 30 day rule protects those buying from a dealer or trader, it doesn’t apply to private sales.

Will online car shopping force showrooms to close?

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, acknowledges that buying online is a growing trend, but denies that it will result in job losses or showroom closures for traditional car dealers. 

“This is a growing trend, however, evidence from our members shows that consumers still want to see a used car and test drive a new one before buying it," said Robinson. 

"As the vast majority of purchases continue to be concluded in person this is unlikely to be an issue."

Online buying has resulted in a boom of pop-up shops for new car sellers. In 2017 alone, Mercedes-Benz Pop-Up Shops welcomed over one million visitors to sites across the UK, with potential customers invited to browse model line-ups online and place orders or test drives. Hyundai, MG, Tesla and Dacia have also opened similar one-stop stores. 

Comments

Bicycle_Repair_Man    on 24 August 2018

Are these people actually buying the car or just putting down a deposit? I wouldn't hesitate to make a small deposit on a car if it seemed like a good deal, but I certainly wouldn't buy a used car outright without seeing it for myself.

mmmmm    on 24 August 2018

Are these people actually buying the car or just putting down a deposit? I wouldn't hesitate to make a small deposit on a car if it seemed like a good deal, but I certainly wouldn't buy a used car outright without seeing it for myself.

...buying the car, etc...?.

If you then would not hesitate to make a small deposit on the back of a good deal, why would you not then go ahead and buy?. A deposit is a real sign of intent, to establish trust and goodwill, so would you then withdraw your deposit and walk away from that moral responsibility?. By all means window shop, but don't mess the salesperson around, they have a varied view of the browsing public as it is, do not add to the negative side of the equation.

Bicycle_Repair_Man    on 24 August 2018

If you then would not hesitate to make a small deposit on the back of a good deal, why would you not then go ahead and buy?. A deposit is a real sign of intent, to establish trust and goodwill, so would you then withdraw your deposit and walk away from that moral responsibility?. By all means window shop, but don't mess the salesperson around, they have a varied view of the browsing public as it is, do not add to the negative side of the equation.

It's not my moral responsibility to fork over thousands of pounds for something that turns out to be tat. I couldn't give a damn what the salesperson might think.

Case in point, I went to look at Civics last year and made a deposit over the phone for what seemed like a decent car. When I went to see it, there were obvious signs of damage and significant wear and tear which wouldn't normally be present on a car of that age. Naturally, this wasn't very visible on the pictures the dealer had taken.

Only a mug would think they have a moral responsibility in that situation.

Engineer Andy    on 24 August 2018

Otherwise known as easy marks...a salesperson's dream customer. I wonder at the percentage of these people were made up of Audi, BMW and Merecedes car owners...

Gordon Ennis    on 28 August 2018

At the time I was looking for a really tidy Merc !90 and found one up in Dudley WEST MIDLANDS advertised on Ebay with masses of photos & a very lengthy description. Trusting my instincts I bought it and paid via Pay Pal & Barclaycard.
I arranged to collect it on a Sunday and travelled from deepest Cornwall to Bristol by train where my son collected me and drove me up to collect the car. I had owned 4 of these models before so knew what I was looking at. What a heap of junk, oil & water leaks from the engine, low oil pressure, a full hole in the windscreen, unmentioned rust in doors and on the sun roof. Rough upholstery. I told the seller I would not accept it as a gift. He said he did not have the money but would send a cheque by recorded delivery on Monday which should arrive on Tuesday. Having little alternative I accepted that and we left. By Tuesday no letter arrived so I rang the seller only to have the phone slammed down on me 3 times. Now worried I contacted ebay who told me it was Pay pal who would deal with it who told me it was Barclaycard who would deal with it, who told me to go back to Paypal. Three major international companies all just buck passing to the max !!! I was now really worried and left wondering what to do next. However the registered letter came the next day with the cheque & it was accepted at the bank. I still have no idea what would have happened if that cheque had not arrived. A salutary tail indeed!

aethelwulf    on 28 August 2018

Very worrying that people are so gullible and only encourages criminals to push their nasty crimes.
Never let your heart rule your wallet. Seeing is (usually) believing but then you still need a thorough check preferably by an independent mechanic paid by you -not the seller.

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