The ongoing cost-of-living crisis continues to impact the buying behaviour of those looking to purchase cars, according to Close Brothers Motor Finance’s Forecourt Foresight research.

With increasingly high-interest rates making borrowing more expensive and high inflation continuing to stagnate, consumers are feeling the strain and altering their car-buying plans accordingly.

As a result, seven in ten (70%) dealers said that customers are looking to purchase cheaper vehicles. And two thirds (66%) of dealers admitted customers are being more cautious when buying vehicles.

Two in three (65%) dealers also said that buyers are cutting back on extras when purchasing a car, in order to save as much money as possible. More than half of dealers (54%) also agreed that more customers are trying to haggle on price, though a quarter (24%) haven’t had any direct experience with this.

Almost half (47%) of dealers confirmed that customers are looking for more finance options, and this number could actually be higher as more than a third (36%) neither agreed nor disagreed.

Lisa Watson, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “With the current economic climate, consumers are having to alter their buying plans in the face of the current cost-of-living crisis.

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“There has never been such an important time to support current and prospective customers. Not needing to compromise on key features like boot size is so important, and dealers can help people choose the right car for their needs by making them aware of all the finance options that could be suitable.

“Dealers need to utilise all available tools and data to make sure they are stocking their forecourts to best meet demand and ensure that they are taking the time to understand a buyer’s wish list and tailor suitable finance products to meet their requirements.”

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