Blurred lines are emerging between new and used car buyers as customers become more easily influenced by running costs and finance offers, according to Motors.co.uk.
Research carried out by the online car search provider reveals that, where second-hand cars used to be the preserve of first-time drivers and those on constrained budgets, the growth in new car deals and monthly payment offers has led to a change of tack.
More than 700 consumers across the UK gave the reasons behind buying decisions over a third (34%) of new car buyers opted out of a used alternative because of cheaper running costs and a quarter (25%) because of the headline discount offered.
Nearly two thirds (60%) of used car buyers, meanwhile, would be influenced into buying a new car if there was a significant discount on the headline price.
The research also revealed that over a third (35%) of new car buyers had considered a used car, which, Motors.co.uk said, highlights the scope for improving communication on used car portfolios when at the forecourt.
Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk, said: “Our latest research gives us some important insight into the reasons behind current consumer buying trends. We all know that sales of new cars are on the rise but it’s important to understand the specific reasons behind these purchases if the end goal is to sell a mixed portfolio of new and used.
“The franchised dealer needs to ensure they have the ideal used stock and availability of new inventory to capture the consumer’s enquiry and deliver on their requests. In addition, it is important to understand the need to be flexible around the delivery expectations of the customer to ensure that stock positioning maximises the profit opportunity.”
Motors.co.uk said that retailers wanting buyers to consider new and used stock should clearly communicate the running costs and available finance packages of all vehicles concisely.