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Car buyers with less money to spend still have high expectations

Dealers must ensure that they are meeting the expectations of customers who are now buying used cars because they can no longer afford new cars following price rises.

Scrappage discounts may have masked the problems of salary freezes and higher purchase costs for buyers over the past 12 months. However, some customers will now find that their money does not stretch to a like-for-like new car.

Colin Bruder, managing director of consultancy Network Automotive, is working with dealers to ensure sales teams understand that although some customers’ circumstances have changed, their expectations will still be high.

He said: “This means some customers entering your dealership can no longer afford to make the same kind of purchase that they might have made three years ago. Someone who previously bought new might now be buying a year-old car.

“What dealers need to recognise is that these customers do not have radically changed expectations.

“The customer buying a six-month-old, 5,000 mile ex-demonstrator still wants that new car smell and a bunch of flowers on the back seat. People paying the same amount for less need to be made to feel special.”

Bruder said that dealerships needed to ensure these vehicles were as well presented as possible, that PDI inspections were diligently carried out and that all vehicle
history, warranties and other paperwork were made available.

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