Used car. The reasons for buying and the fears of the French

Although their sales have fallen, used cars have found almost four times more buyers than new cars in France during the first five months of 2022. A difference that will increase further if we do not take into account corporate fleets. Of course, the main reason for this choice is budgetary. A study commissioned by the Heycar website from the Harris Interactive Institute and conducted online from 12 to 15 November 2021 with a sample of 1,584 French people confirms this today.

The allegations about the apartment that the French agree on. Click to enlarge.

81% of respondents answered yes to the question of whether buying a used car was a good way to save money. But they were also 64%, and even 79% among those under 35, to consider used as more responsible for the environment than new. A percentage that is in line with the popular theme of circular economy, although it may seem out of step with mechanisms such as the conversion bonus, which on the contrary encourages people to get rid of their old car in the name of ecology.

A sometimes stressful experience

used buy stress
The percentage of French people who find it stressful to buy a new or used car. Click to enlarge.
concerns about buying used cars
The main obstacles to buying a used vehicle. Three answers were possible. Click to enlarge.

However, everything is far from rosy. For 75% of respondents, buying a used car is also more complicated than buying a new car. 52% find it even more stressful than exciting, while 66% think the opposite if it is a model that has not been used before. The strongest fear is above all to discover hidden flaws after the acquisition. A valid concern both through an individual and through a website or specialist retailer, although it is more important in the first case. The gap between these two sectors becomes logically larger as we approach “lack of guarantee”, the second obstacle most often mentioned. Remember that professionals must now give you one more advantageous warranty for a year if you take a used car from them. Finally, on the third step of the podium, there are two different concerns: the absence of after-sales service for a transaction with an individual and the fear of not having sufficient knowledge to sign in all serenity through a company.

Deterrent sounds and lights

used purchase causes abandonment sale
The points that can cause the purchase of a used car to fail. Click to enlarge.
fear of used purchase
What the French fear most after buying a used car. Click to enlarge.

The survey also reveals that almost 88% of French people would pass on their way if the vehicle they want makes unusual noises during a test drive. Lights that are turned on for no reason or defective electronic components would also scare 86% of potential buyers away, while they would “only” be 84% to give up in case of a different mileage than the one originally advertised. As for the most dreaded problem after becoming an owner, it is one “technical error not visible during purchase” which would prevent the car from being used or require payment of repair costs.

used purchase means to reassure
The best ways to reassure the French for a second-hand purchase. Click to enlarge.
used purchase of sectors
Favorite channels for buying a used car. Click to enlarge.

It is therefore no surprise 89% of respondents say that the presence of a guarantee could help reassure them, like an official document with the history of the car. While the majority of respondents indicated that it would be easier to consider going through a professional than through a private advertising site to buy a used car. But reality does not really support these statements, as it is sales between people who were largely in the majority in France in 2021.

READ. Buying a used car: our advice to avoid fraud

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