What Car? survey reveals buyers’ biggest concerns

A new survey from What Car? has revealed the things that buyers look out for the most when considering a new or used cars.

The study shows that nearly two thirds of the 4,000 buyers polled rate reliability as the most important thing to look out for when in the market for either a new or used motor.

Reliability most important

Consumer warranty specialists Warranty Direct underlined the importance of reliability to buyers, noting that the most reliable vehicles can cost less than £100 in repairs each year.

Information from the companies policies have shown that only one in 10 of the most dependable vehicles break down each year, compared to the least reliable models which statistically fail several times.

Last summer, Citroen’s C1 city car was officially crowned the most reliable car up to three years old by the Which? Car Guide, with an annual repair cost of only 49p on average.

As well as that, information from the survey shows that the car’s colour and finish, as well as the model’s reputation for quality, are also significant factors which influence buying decisions.

Data was gathered from the unique What Car? Motoring Panel, which consisted of over 4,000 respondents who were asked to rank the importance of 29 factors which influenced their latest purchases.

What Car? editor Jim Holder noted that the motoring panel was able to provide some incredibly insightful data into what influences buyers, some of which even surprised the What Car? team.

He said: “We didn’t necessarily expect reliability to be at the top of most buyers’ shopping lists and it was very interesting to see how relatively unimportant CO2 emissions were to buyers.

“Car makers are heavily influenced by buyer perceptions but it’s constantly evolving; priorities shift over time, but it is clear that despite leaps in terms of quality, the likelihood of a car letting you down is still at the heart of a car buyer’s criteria for a new vehicle.”

Driving enjoyment

Other significant factors which buyers rated as important was the model, versatility of the interior and how enjoyable the driving experience was when behind the wheel.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, buyers also appeared to be unfussed with things like the amount of CO2 that cars emit, while they also didn’t rate mobile connectivity or personalisation as important.

Where the car was made also ranked poorly in the list of important features, while previous experience of the brand and prestige associated with ownership also appeared towards the bottom of the list.