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More than a third of used car buyers don’t want to travel far, says AA Cars

Used cars line up

Two out of five car buyers would only be willing to travel up to 30 miles to buy a used car, finds new research from AA Cars.

In a poll of more than 17,000 drivers, the company found that only a quarter of people would travel up to 60 miles for the perfect model.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “There has always been an enormous amount of choice on the second hand cars market, with almost all makes and models accounted for. Yet there can still be some regional variation in what cars are available, and how much they cost, and drivers may find they need to travel outside their hometown or city to find the specific model they have their heart set on.”

Older drivers are the least likely to travel, as almost half (47%) of people aged 65 and over said they would only travel a maximum 30 miles away from home.

Younger drivers, aged 18-24, were much more willing to travel to find their dream used car, as less than a third (31%) would limit themselves to cars within a 30-mile radius.

The research found that men were marginally more willing to make a longer journey than women, with 16% of men willing to travel between 61 and 120 miles to buy a secondhand car, compared to 12% of women.

When it comes to even greater distances, 5% of men said they would be prepared to travel more than 320 miles, about the distance between Cornwall and Manchester, compared to just 1% of women.

The main reason drivers said they were willing to travel outside their town or city to buy a used car was to save money, with 29% of drivers citing this as their primary reason to buy elsewhere. 

This was a higher priority for younger drivers, who may not have as much money to spend on a vehicle, as 41% of 18-24 year olds said saving money was the top reason they would travel to buy a used car, compared to 28% of 55-64 year olds, and 23% of over 65s. 

A larger choice of vehicles, or finding a specific type of car not available in the driver’s home town, were the other top reasons why people would travel greater distances.

“For many, cost is the number one priority when it comes to buying a car, and travelling a few extra miles can help drivers make those all-important savings as some towns and cities can offer better value for money than others.

“Once drivers have found their perfect car, it can be all too easy to overlook any potential issues, but this can prove costly in the long-run. We always recommend an independent pre-sale vehicle inspection, such as one by AA Cars, takes place before any money changes hands, to ensure drivers can have peace of mind that there are no hidden faults,” Fairclough said.

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