Price is by far the most important consideration for buyers when purchasing a vehicle, according to motor dealers. The latest Forecourt Foresight research from Close Brothers Motor Finance reveals that over three-quarters (77%) of motor dealers see price as the key consideration for their customers. 

The research, which asked motor dealers what their customers look for when buying a vehicle, found that, in addition to the question of finance, almost six in ten (59%) dealers say the mileage on the clock is a key consideration. Less than half (45%) say the manufacturer and model of the vehicle is most important.  

Bringing to light the impact that governmental initiatives and schemes are having on the behaviour of motorists, almost a third (30%) of dealers say their customers take compliance with schemes such as ULEZ into consideration when making a vehicle purchase. A similar number of dealers (29%) say the biggest consideration for their customers is the vehicle’s running costs, such as servicing the vehicle and road tax. 

Potentially reflecting a low interest among UK drivers for making the transition away from internal combustion engines and towards electric and alternative-fuel vehicles, just one in ten dealers (11%) say fuel type is important, while the same number (11%) say vehicle efficiency i.e. miles per gallon is key. 

At the lower end of the priority list for drivers are the cosmetic considerations, with vehicle size and colour at 8% and 3% priority respectively, according to dealers. 

What dealers say is most important to their customers when buying a vehicle: 

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  • Price – 77%
  • Mileage – 59%
  • Manufacturer and model – 45%
  • Compliance with schemes such as ULEZ – 30%
  • Running costs (e.g. servicing and road tax) – 29%
  • Fuel type – 11%
  • Efficiency (e.g. miles per gallon/kWh) – 11%
  • Size – 8%
  • Colour – 3%

Lisa Watson, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “Though it’s unsurprising that price would be the critical factor for prospective car owners, our latest Forecourt Foresight research reminds us that so many drivers walk a precarious financial tightrope and are having to juggle numerous considerations just to balance the books in their personal finances. Though there are signs we’re emerging from the cost of living crisis, the financial burden for drivers continues to grow with the continued rollout of anti-motoring governmental schemes such as ULEZ.

“It’s vital that dealers remain aware of challenges and costs, and utilise the tools and insights at their disposal to ensure their forecourts are best stocked to meet the demands of their customers and at the same time maximise their profitability.”