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Parker's forecourt focus: Consumers need more information

Considering the number of places and ways a consumer can buy a car, it’s not surprising confusion reigns. It also explains a growing trend that has found which reveals many of our users are opting for a nearly-new car from an ‘approved used’ scheme.

There are obvious benefits, not least of which is reassurance about the car should anything go wrong. The vehicle can be returned under warranty for any repairs. What may (pleasantly) surprise many franchised dealers is that the customer is happy to pay a premium for a car over a similar model from an independent.

Long gone are the days when the cheapest price was the driver for a car purchase. These days buyers are much more interested in buying a good car from a reputable dealer for a fair price.

Hence the growing popularity of manufacturers’ approved used schemes. But our research has also shown that many prospective buyers are unaware of the other benefits of approved schemes, such as breakdown cover, warranty and inspection checks. All add to that peace of mind vital to the consumer to prompt a signature on the dotted line.

So what can be done to spread the word? Well, the consumer press needs to give better advice on these schemes and dealers need to provide clear, concise info that allows the consumer to easily compare the benefits of the different offers. It’s not a question of a hard sell, but of clearer explanations. Confused consumers don’t part easily with their cash.

Independent dealers can also gain from providing clear information about the benefits of buging from them. They may not be backed by a manufacturer, but their sticker prices are often more competitive.

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