An estimated two million Brits regret “jumping straight-in” to the first car finance deal offered without shopping around, research has revealed.
Less than a fifth of drivers using car finance (18%) to buy their vehicle actually compared offers to make sure the deal they were selecting was the best one available to them, an AA-Populus poll of 16,000 has shown.
With a further 12% admitting that they simply couldn’t be bothered or didn’t have the time to shop around.
Most drivers (60% overall) agreed that they are happy with the finance they have chosen.
AA Cars’s chief executive, James Fairclough, said: “Although it is good to hear that 6 out of 10 people are happy with their deals, many of them could be paying a lot less if they had shopped around first.
“My advice would be to take some time to compare the options available both online and at your dealer before making any commitment.
"There some very competitive finance deals available in the market and small rate differences can add up to thousands of pounds over a number of years.“
The poll highlighted a satisfaction age split which reveald that nearly three quarters of over 65’s (72%) were happy with their car finance deal, compared to less than half (47%) of 18-24’s – possibly reflecting the greater experience of, and wider range of options for, older drivers.
“Our research suggests that perhaps up to two million Brits have opted for the first offer available in order to secure the car they really want and may not know if they have got the best deal,” said Fairclough
“It’s really important to take time to consider what’s available – and not let your heart rule your head so that you end up making an impulse decision you might later regret.
“Whatever finance option you choose, you should always make sure you fully understand what you are getting yourself into before signing on the dotted line – and don’t just take the first deal that comes along without looking at other options.
“You should also read the small print, to understand all the terms. For example, if you think you might want to pay off a loan early, you should check that this won’t trigger an early payment penalty.”