Dealers are just as afraid as motorists of being ripped off by last-minute discovery that a used car trade deal is not as good as it seems.
That’s among the key findings of new research by the consumer-to-dealer car trading platform, Wizzle.
For consumers the number one reason to avoid using a cash-for-car service is anxiety around unexpected price offer reductions at the 11th hour.
But for dealers the biggest fear is of discovering a hidden fault or damage that was not revealed until the moment of exchanging cash for the car.
It means establishing trust by maximising transparency is the most important aspect for both parties to any car trading platform.
Wizzle enables consumers to offer their cars directly to dealers, with a focus on detailed visual images as well as descriptions, aiming to avoid last minute shocks for either party.
The findings come from research into the attitudes of consumers and dealers by Wizzle, a car trading platform built around the trade appraisal technology of AUTOi, used by thousands of dealers in Britain.
As would be expected, consumers cite the best possible price as their top priority when selling their car for cash. But trust in a fair outcome for the process is almost as high on the list.
Evidence is growing from Wizzle’s experience over nearly five months of trading that a strong focus on transparency discourages consumers from hiding problems and helps to manage their expectations around the price at which they can expect to sell.
Analysis of the outcomes of consumer-to-dealer trades on Wizzle reveals a minority of occasions on which no final deal was struck following an in-principle agreement during the online bidding process.
Only two consumer users have complained to Wizzle that the dealer they were negotiating with unfairly reduced their initial offer since the platform launched in the summer.
Sébastien Duval (pictured), founder of Wizzle, believes the direct-to-dealer consumer car trading model is dramatically improved by use of detailed images and that managing the expectations of both parties in the transaction by introducing maximum transparency is key to success in the sector.
He said: “The Office Of Fair Trading criticisms in 2011 around lack of transparency in the sector were predictably all about the negative experiences of consumers.
“But it’s just as important for dealers offering to buy cars that they aren’t wrongfooted at the last minute by undisclosed problems or damage.
“It’s unfortunate that there is a popular myth that the only person at risk in a transaction like this is the motorist, when all of us in the trade know that not all private sellers are as open as they could be about the details of their vehicle.
“Our discussions of the Wizzle experience with users on both sides of the transaction show that detailed pictures are highly valuable in helping to build trust and avoid disappointment for either party when the final deal comes to be done.
“It’s also interesting that when you treat the deal between a consumer and a dealer as an honest transaction instead of a battle of wits, by maximising transparency to build trust, you end up with a more satisfying outcome for everyone.”