Used car buyers follow their nose, says AA poll

According to a recent poll by AA Cars, almost a quarter of used car buyers are put off by smells such as those caused by cigarettes, vomit or wet dog fur.

The AA Populous poll surveyed 18,741 AA members and discovered that some 24 per cent said they had been deterred from buying a used car because of the nasty sells emanating from within. Furthermore, around 38 per cent said they had been deterred by either a lack of a complete service history document, or if they saw that the vehicle had a long list of previous repair work.

How you present used vehicles on the forecourt is of paramount importance, but you should also be offering extraordinary levels of customer service to ensure that buyers keep coming back time and time again. Therefore, in addition to your general motor trade insurance and road risks insurance, you should also consider good demonstration insurance to provide test drives on request, as 13 per cent backed out of a purchase when this service was not offered to them.

Additionally, 37 per cent of those surveyed revealed that they failed to complete a purchase after the car didn’t feel right upon taking it out for a test drive. Some 38 per cent cited poorly maintained bodywork and 31 per cent an imperfect interior as reasons why they dropped out of a purchase.

Paul Yates, the managing director of AA Cars, said: “Buying a used car shouldn’t mean buying a bad car but there are simple checks you can do.

“Ask to see the service history and, if it’s incomplete or shows lots of repair work, that could be a warning sign. A history check will also rule out insurance write-offs and stolen cars.

“If you’re unsure if a car is in good mechanical condition or not, it’s worth having an independent inspection carried out through a reputable company, or to buy through a dealer who has independently inspected cars.”