Younger drivers more ‘apped’ to buy car

Thought about buying a car online?

If you’re aged between 25 and 34, then you’re in the age group most likely to buy a car via an app, a survey shows.

Those over 65 however a far less likely to consider buying a new car online: 71 per cent for new cars, 76 per cent for used cars.

These are the results of a survey from UK automotive data and valuations expert, HPI.

Wanting to kick the tyres is the most common reason for not buying a used car online, while fears of getting ripped off comes in at number two.

Almost one in five of those questioned said they’d never buy anything online, with one in six saying they’re not comfortable with how their data might be used.

More than a third of those who would not buy a second-hand car over the internet admitted it was because of a lack of consumer protection in the event of problems occurring.

The research found that men would also be more likely to purchase a car via mobile app than women. Of those questioned, 13 per cent had already bought a new or used car online without viewing it first.

Furthermore, while almost two-thirds of those who bought online had no worries about doing so, more than one third had reservations — yet still went ahead with the ‘blind’ purchase.

The survey also revealed the results varied considerably for men versus women.

A quarter (23 per cent) of men had no worries about buying a new car without viewing beforehand, or even paying for the vehicle before they’d got their hands on the keys.

The figure was lower for men buying used cars unseen (14 per cent).

Over one in 10 (14 per cent) of women had no qualms about buying a new car sight unseen and parting with the cash compared with nine per cent for used cars.

When it comes to making the same purchase via a mobile app, 35 per cent of men said they would buy a new car in this way without viewing it before payment and 18 per cent for a used car.

For women, just over a fifth (22 per cent) would buy a new car through an app without viewing it first and 12 per cent for a used car in this way.

HPI’s Fernando Garcia said it was easy to see why consumers feel quite relaxed about buying a car without seeing it ‘in the flesh’ first.

“Virtually all car manufacturers have an approved used scheme in place that allows consumers to buy a used car with a long warranty, often providing the same peace of mind as when purchasing a new car,” he said.

“The faith in these schemes is illustrated by the responses we canvased in our research: of those who would buy a car without trying it first, the majority would feel the most comfortable if the app was created by an official dealer or a car manufacturer.

“If the app was developed by a third-party company that peace of mind was much less evident amongst consumers.”

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