If you’re planning to sell your car, make sure it smells of roses because, according to a new poll, almost a quarter of buyers (24 per cent) have been put off buying a second-hand car due to the smell of wet dog fur, children’s sick or stale cigarettes.
The AA/Populus poll canvassed 18,741 AA members on whether they have ever been deterred from buying a used car and why. The poll showed that almost four in ten (38 per cent) respondents have not followed through with a purchase because the service history either had gaps in it or revealed a lot of past repair work. The poll also found that 24 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women have walked away from a purchase because of an incomplete service history.
It seems, even when we’re buying second-hand, we still expect the vehicle to be in tip-top condition, with a further 38 per cent being turned off because the bodywork was in poor condition. Almost a third (31 per cent) withdrew from a purchase because of a less than perfect interior.
Test driving a car is an important part of the buying decision for many people, and more than a third (37 per cent) have not proceeded with buying the car because it didn’t feel right on the test drive. One in nine (13 per cent) pulled out of a purchase because the seller wouldn’t let them take the car out for a test drive.
Comparing age groups, the poll reveals that over 65s are most likely to buy a used car that isn’t in mint condition, while 18-24 year olds are least likely to buy if the bodywork and interior of the car are in poor condition.
Paul Yates, of the AA, comments: “Buying a used car shouldn’t mean buying a bad car but there are simple checks you can do, whether you’re buying through a dealer or privately.
“Ask to see the service history, and if it’s incomplete or shows lots of repair work, that could be a warning sign. A history check will also rule out insurance write-offs and stolen cars.
“If you’re unsure if a car is in good mechanical condition or not, it’s worth having an independent inspection carried out through a reputable company, or buy through a dealer who has independently inspected cars.”