Car buyers pay for ‘hidden’ features

ONE of the issues with computers has always been people’s ability to unlock their full potential.

Not knowing what their computers were capable of, or how to maximise the potential, meant that many people were accessing only a fraction of what their computers could do.

Now, according to new research, the same thing is happening with cars.

Millions of drivers could be getting more value from their cars by learning more about their full specifications.

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New research highlights that almost half of car owners (48 percent) say they don’t know everything that their car can do and of those who have activated a new feature, more than a third (38 percent) “accidentally triggered” it, while 44 percent were alerted to hidden extras by family or friends.

And although 49 percent of people cite safety reasons in their consideration of hi-tech features when buying a new vehicle, one in three (36 percent) said they feel “confused” by them.

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Motorpoint’s research revealed that when buying a new set of wheels, reliability is the most important factor (74 percent), closely followed by good fuel economy (72 percent) and low servicing costs (60 percent).

And when it comes to standard features, over half want a lot of boot space, while 47 percent prioritise a good heating and ventilation system.

Other essential requirements include adjustable seats and a heated windscreen.

However, almost six in 10 have discovered features in their current car that they didn’t know about when they first got it, and 27 percent of people said they stumbled on these features in the manual.

But these discoveries weren’t made instantly, as one in five drivers admitted it took them almost two years to discover some of their car’s hidden gems.

The research also showed that not understanding their car impacted owner confidence, as 51 percent believe their driving would be better if they understood more about what their vehicle can do.

Buying a car is a big investment, so it’s important people have access to the right knowledge at the point of purchase.

Access to an expert who can demonstrate key features before signing on the dotted line and during the handover can make all the difference.

If you aren’t sure of what your car can do, go back to the dealer and ask for it to be explained (even if it was explained to you when you collected the car in the first place).


Top five “good value” factors when buying and owning a car

  1. Reliability
  2. Good fuel economy
  3. Low servicing and maintenance costs
  4. Build quality
  5. Strong resale value


Top 20 most important car features:

  1. Boot space
  2. A good heating/ventilation system
  3. Adjustable seats
  4. Safety features
  5. Leg and headroom
  6. Heated windscreen
  7. Manual gears
  8. Satellite navigation
  9. Security features
  10. Parking aids
  11. Smartphone Connectivity
  12. In-car storage
  13. High driving position
  14. Alloy wheels
  15. Heated seats
  16. Automatic gears
  17. Cruise control
  18. A good infotainment system
  19. Child seat fittings (ISOFIX)
  20. Leather seats
  • These results are from a survey of 2000 motorists, conducted in the UK by Motorpoint.


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