Only 7% of UK consumers trust used car dealers, according to a survey by online vehicle retailer Auto Trader.

The online retailer’s ‘September Market Report’ compared thirteen major industries, including estate agents, and found that the market for used cars was the least trusted among 5,000 individuals surveyed.

However, of those who bought a used car in the past 6 months, 68% claimed they had a significant level of trust from their dealer.

Operations director of Auto Trader, Nathan Coe, said: “The industry still suffers with a lack of trustworthiness which resonates strongly with consumers. Changing these perceptions will be a challenge.”

The research by Auto Trader indicated that a lack of transparency and adequate information was to blame for continuing mistrust by entrenching existing negative view of the industry.

Due to a perceived lack of transparency in the used car industry, 38% claimed they were driven to search for another dealership, with a further 36% deciding to put off buying a car.

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The report found that the lack of quality information deterred potential consumers, with 20% saying they had encountered information that was hard to find, vague, or misleading.

Of this group, 42% found the process more stressful as a result, and 41% found that it took longer than preferred to buy a car.

According to Auto Trader, the findings suggest that improving the availability of in-depth information such as dealer reviews, price comparisons, and vehicle and history checks may help raise perceptions.

Coe continued: “Changing perceptions of the used car industry is a huge challenge, but it is not insurmountable.

“It will require the majority of the industry to embrace a greater level of transparency to increase trustworthiness with consumers. Those that do will certainly gain the competitive advantage.”