Survey Reveals UK Used Car Buyers Are Too Dumb To Know Any Better
A survey of 2,000 car buyers, commissioned by UK-based CarGurus, found 71% incorrectly identified the current market value of each vehicle, despite 58% of respondents claiming they were confident in assessing what a car is worth.
Participants in the Taking the Guesswork Out study were shown a selection of the five most sought-after used vehicles in their respective classes and asked to gauge that car’s value.
Consumers were asked to value the following vehicles, assuming that each vehicle was two years old and had covered 20,000 miles:
- Ford Fiesta – £12,181*
- Nissan Qashqai – £18,524*
- Range Rover Sport – £66,645*
- BMW 320d M Sport – £27,893*
- Nissan Leaf – £19,565*
In total, participants consistently over-estimated the value of the cars. 38% of respondents over-valued the BMW 3 Series by at least £4,000, while a tenth of participants over-valued the Ford Fiesta by at least 25%.
The discrepancy was greatest when it came to the all-electric Nissan Leaf, which respondents over-valued by a whopping 20.3%, adding £3,978 onto the true value of the £19,565 EV – the recommended price given by CarGurus’ Instant Market Value (IMV) tool.
The survey commissioned by CarGurus was shown to be of particular need for the youngest cohort surveyed.
Although 80% of 18-24 year-olds felt confident in their ability to value a car, compared to just 64% of 35-44 year-olds, their confidence was not borne out in the results. The older generation consistently outperformed them by a sizeable margin when it came to accurately value the cars in the survey.
The knowledge gap was particularly evident in the case of the BMW 3 Series with just 8% of 18-24s identifying its correct price vs 30% of those aged 35-44. Generation Z didn’t fair any better with the Nissan Leaf, with only 7% choosing correctly, while 22% of 35-44 year olds selected the correct answer.
There was also a significant difference when it came to confidence levels of men and women. Almost three-quarters of men (72%) were confident in valuing what a car is worth compared with 46% of women. Yet the gap in actual knowledge was significantly smaller, with men choosing the right answer 28.4% of the time on average, compared with 26.8% for women.
With such a high percentage of car buyers struggling to know if they’re getting a good or bad deal, the IMV tool is the ideal resource to help take the guess work out of car shopping for consumers.
Updated daily using millions of data points, the IMV tool analyses every car currently and recently listed for sale on CarGurus and tells consumers if the model they are considering is either a great, good, fair, high or overpriced deal.
When it came to which factors buyers said gave them confidence that a car was worth the price being asked, a full-service history (57%) topped the list.
Other confidence-inspiring factors included a good warranty (50%) and the opportunity to speak to the dealer in person (35%), although once again respondents placed faith in their own judgment, with the chance to inspect the car in person (37%) trumping an independent report on the car (30%).