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Jargon causes forecourt confusion

One in four UK motorists wouldn’t be any wiser if they bought a used car with a BLT and DLT included.

According to a survey of 1,000 motorists by Network Q, Vauxhall’s used car retailer, car jargon still remains such a mystery that one in four wouldn’t bat an eyelid if offered a car complete with a BLT.

Motorists were given nine examples of common car jargon and asked to identify the correct meaning from four possibilities for each. In each case, there was an option that was a red herring and irrelevant to used cars.

A quarter of motorists believed BLT was a common car term, with most stating it stood for the fictitious ‘brake-lock transmission’. 22% failed to spot that DLT, the common acronym for former Radio 1 DJ, Dave Lee Travis, was a red herring. Instead they believed they’d be buying a car with either a ‘dealer liaised transaction’, ‘dual turbo’ or ‘dashboard lighting’.

Although ABS (Antilock Braking System), FSH (full service history) and BHP (brake horsepower) were correctly identified by over 90% of motorists, lesser-known terms included ICE (in-car entertainment), ESR (electric sunroof) and T&T (taxed and tested) were wrongly identified by 40% of motorists.

More than half (56%) of the motorists surveyed, admitted they would try to research the meanings of car jargon before buying a used car. Almost the same number (57%) would take a friend specifically to help with terminology, while 30% claim to understand all the terms and 10% would try to bluff it on a forecourt.

When it comes to incomprehensible jargon, IT professionals were chosen as the worst offenders by 35% of those surveyed. They were followed by politicians (26%), lawyers (13%), estate agents (8%), civil servants (6%) and used car salesmen on just 4%.

Network Q says: “Jargon is part of everyday conversation but it doesn’t necessarily make life easier. If anyone was offered a car with a DLT included you’d expect them to run a mile. However, there is a danger people can be bamboozled by jargon and we’d always urge them to go to a reputable dealer for peace of mind – or you might get more than you bargained for.”

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