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Price sensitivity and finding a deal top used car buyer considerations, says Startline

More than half of people (55%) say lower prices would be the number one factor that would bring them into the used car market.

May’s Startline Used Car Tracker shows all of the top three considerations that could make them buy a car hinge on the cost of the vehicle – with finding a good deal (47%) in second place and cheaper finance (42%) in third.

Other potential reasons mentioned include a better warranty (27%), a wider choice of cars (24%) and faster and easier buying processes (20%).

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research. The data is based on survey results from 302 consumers and 59 dealers.

Paul Burgess, Startline Motor Finance chief executive, said: “While the used car market is currently showing a remarkable degree of resilience, the present economic conditions are effectively excluding quite a lot of people.

“The cost of living crisis and other factors such as higher bank interest rates are having an ongoing impact on personal finances.”

Burgess said used car prices will have to fall to bring those currently excluded based on price sensitivity back into the market

However, with the current levels of demand seen in the used car sector and the low levels of supply, he said that’s “simply unlikely to happen any time soon”.

He said: “It is interesting that some buyers would be tempted into the market by other factors, however.

“Especially, the one in five who would like it to be easier and faster to buy a car perhaps suggests that some retailers could do more to make the buying experience better.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker also looked at the impact of the current cost of living crisis on how people were buying used cars.

Almost six out of 10 (58%) said they were much more conscious of monthly costs while 30% reported they had less money to use as a deposit and 21% that they were more likely to use their own savings.

Burgess added: “Used prices are continuing to rise at the same time that people have less to spend, so those that need to buy a car are having to change the way in which they finance their purchase.

“That might mean putting down a lower deposit, using PCP to reduce the monthly cost, or it might mean digging into their savings.”

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