A fifth of car buyers scared off by negative online reviews

Published 12 June 2019

Pushy sales tactics, negative online reviews and a reluctance to offer test drives are all factors that scare car buyers away from second-hand dealers, research has revealed.

A survey of 17,230 car buyers by the AA found that nearly a fifth (19 per cent) are put off by a reputation for over-aggressive sales tactics, while 18 per cent will avoid a showroom altogether if they've previously read a negative online review.

>>> How to buy a new or used car

But their fears aren't unfounded, with Citizens Advice revealing that it dealt with 56,000 complaints around used cars over the past 12 months - a record high.

Car complaints are the most common consumer issue at Citizens Advice, with 84 per cent of these being related to defective vehicles.

“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," said AA Cars CEO, James Fairclough.

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“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."

The news comes just a few days after it emerged that car dealers are pre-registering thousands of vehicles in a bid to force the market and reverse the so-called diesel slump. This means buyers are in a strong position to save money, as dealers look to sell cut-price nearly new vehicles. 


hissingsid    on 13 June 2019

If a dealer is pushy, walk away.
If a dealer is reluctant to offer a test drive, walk away.
There are plenty more dealers and plenty more cars.

Miniman777    on 13 June 2019

That's easy to say, but some just feel intimidated, cant always take someone with knowledge with them and believe everything the salesman tells them, unfortunately.

Getting savvy over car purchase comes with time with past lessons learned. Just a shame the sharks still exist.

Even when things go wrong, dealers tell large porkies to avoid taking back a car they know is rogue. What's worse is it is often the people who can least afford the problems are the ones who suffer.

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