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What do car buyers want from their new vehicle?

There are any number of reasons consumers buy cars, picking brands and models that suit their lifestyle, budget, commute, family, geographical location and more. A lot of time and effort goes into making the right choice, from online research to visiting a dealership, speaking to friends to booking a test drive.

Car retailers must cater to a huge variety of needs and that means treating each and every customer as an individual. A member of the sales team should be asking a lot of questions and offering possible solutions – not pushing a particular model because it’s not selling well, for example.


What to consider when buying / selling a car:

  • Aesthetics – The importance placed on how a vehicle looks is different for everyone but, for some, a car’s appearance is a vital concern. Colour, exterior, interior, noise – just some of the factors that could influence a buyer’s decision.


  • Size – Some consumers will be looking for an SUV while others will be looking for a sports car. Some may want a combination of the two – for example, a saloon that performs well on a variety of road conditions.


  • Vehicle cost – Either single payment or a finance deal, budgets are central to a car buyer’s decision.


  • Annual costs – Cars are never a one-off outlay. There are always annual costs to cover, such as insurance, road tax, MOT, servicing and repairs. These can quickly add up and consumers’ budgets will vary massively when it comes to keeping their new vehicle on the road.


  • Technology – Cars are becoming ever more technologically advanced each year, with SatNavs, parking sensors, self-parking and self-driving, music systems, alarms, trackers and more. Some customers will want to know if they can sync their smartphone with the vehicle while others will be happy if their car plays Radio 2.


  • Brands – Consumers can be very loyal to a brand they’ve been driving for years, to the point where they may not consider alternatives. Others may be tempted elsewhere if another vehicle ticks all the right boxes.


  • Extras – Financial add-on products such as extended warranty, MOT test cover, roadside assistance, cosmetic warranty or tyre and alloy insurance can be a deciding factor for many consumers. They provide peace of mind and vary in price and quality, so consumers can find a product that works for them.


  • Dealer trust – Consumers may pick their dealer based on the brands they have in stock, their location, reputation, recommendation or simply because they’ve been using them for years. Establishing trust is absolutely essential and can boost retention rates for MOTs or when they’re looking for another new car in future.


  • Reviews – Online, magazine, friend and family reviews can be hugely influential when it comes to buying a new vehicle. If a car has received a poor review on AutoTrader, for example, this may affect sales of that model – and not just through the website.


  • Convenience – If a buyer is looking for a specific make and model and they have to travel far to find it, this may help expedite the sale. For others, the convenience of their car retailer being close to their home or place of work can be a deciding factor on whether to buy from them or not.


Buying a new vehicle can take time and energy. Car retailers should do everything possible to help their customers along this journey and ensure they pick the right vehicle for them.


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