Auto Trader market report shows promising attitudes to car-buying

The latest Market Report from Auto Trader, which gives a fascinating insight into the attitudes of drivers and those buying new and used cars, has found that people buying cars don't expect to hold on to them for very long.

The report found that 57 per cent of the 5,500 drivers polled only expected to keep their new car for three years or less. Interestingly, among those who have used finance to buy their new car, some 42 per cent said they intended to trade their car in and buy a new model as soon as they had fulfilled their agreement.

Some other areas in which the Market Report unveiled some fascinating findings were regarding automation and whether people actually intend to continue to buy cars at all. With regards to the latter, dealership owners will be relieved to hear that the vast majority (81 per cent) intended to continue to own cars for the rest of their lives, while only 5 per cent said they plan to stop buying cars at some point in the future.

Furthermore, 46 per cent of drivers who were living in the centre of large cities said they own a car because they enjoy driving. This suggests that, even among the group thought most likely to give up owning cars, the reasons for doing so go further than simple practicality.

On the subject of automation, there was limited interest in fully-autonomous cars, with 45 per cent of those questioned saying that they were not interested in this technology as they enjoy driving too much to let a computer take over fully. A statement from Auto Trader’s operations director, Nathan Coe, read: “Even in a world of fully-autonomous vehicles, consumers still see car ownership as central to their future driving. Today’s successful dealers are those that embrace change, and whilst the car-buying process and the cars consumers buy will undoubtedly evolve, the fundamentals will remain true.”

On the subject of the future of used car sales, Coe added: “As a result of sustained new car market growth, our expectation is that this will continue to have a positive impact on used car transactions, as it has in the past, building on the 8.2 million used cars sold last year, which was up 7.3 per cent on 2015.”

Independent dealership owners will no doubt welcome the results of the report from Auto Trader as it highlights the fact that the appetite for buying cars, and often, is still alive and well. Some dealers will want to respond to findings by increasing their stock levels to try to cash in on the predicted strong market condition. This can pay off providing they update their traders combined insurance with details of their new stock to ensure their liabilities are completely covered by their policy.