• Majority (84%) of UK car buyers believe they got a great (32%) or good (52%) deal on their recent purchase
  • Meanwhile, CarGurus’ latest Availability Index revealed used car prices are up 29.5% year-over-year
  • CarGurus Buyer Insight Report found buyers most concerned with how easy the process was (44%) and how much they trusted the dealer (36%)
  • More than half (53%) of buyers found buying a car stressful, however, 55% still enjoyed the process 

More than eight in ten (84%) of UK car buyers are satisfied they got a great or good deal on their most recent used car purchase.

That’s despite CarGurus’ latest Availability Index revealing how used car prices have soared 29.5% over the last year.

The findings come from the CarGurus UK Buyer Insight Report, which details how consumers’ attitudes have changed towards the car buying process over the last two years.

One of the most notable insights from the study was that 32% of respondents felt they got a great deal on their purchase, up from 26% in 2020.

More than half (52%) deemed their buy was a good deal, a fraction down when compared to two years ago (55%).

Only two percent of survey respondents believed the deal they got on their car purchase in 2022 wasn’t a fair one.

Topping the reasons of how buyers judged a great deal were how easy the buying process was (44%) and the level of trust they had in the seller (36%).

Price paid compared to the buyer’s budget (28%) and price paid compared to the initial sticker price given (25%) were not as important.

For consumers considering buying a car in the months ahead, CarGurus Instant Market Value (IMV) tool provides guidance about what a car is worth in today’s market relative to other vehicles on sale. Updated daily using millions of data points, the IMV tool tells consumers if a car’s advertised price represents if they’re getting either a great, good, fair, high or overpriced deal.

CarGurus’ UK Buyer Insight Report also delved into how much people enjoyed the car buying process, or not, when buying their last car.  

More than half (53%) of buyers found parts of the process stressful, however the same respondents also admitted to relishing (55%) parts of the experience.

New car (70%) and electric vehicle (69%) buyers over indexed on their levels of enjoyment when going through the car buying journey.

Additionally, the report looked at how long consumers took to buy their car in the last 12 months.

In buyers’ minds, the buying process began five weeks before they purchased a car. The first three weeks involved actively researching, before contacting a dealer in the remaining two weeks. In that two-week period consumers contacted three dealers and visited two on average, although 45% visited only one dealership before buying.

Ali Chapman, Senior Consumer Insights Analyst at CarGurus, said: “It’s perhaps surprising that most consumers have been happy with the deal they got on their last car purchase when used car prices have risen so significantly.

“Our research suggests that buyers prioritise the ease with which they can buy the car and the trust the dealer instils in them, rather than price.

“With CarGurus data showing that used car prices are plateauing, but not yet coming down, it places even greater emphasis on dealers making the process of buying a car as seamless as possible.” 

CarGurus top five tips on negotiating a good deal

  1. Research is key: In such a hot used car market, large discounts are unlikely. But using online tools such as CarGurus IMV can help determine what a car is worth before you visit a dealership.
  2. Be PoliteIf you decide to haggle on price, remember it doesn’t need to be confrontational – in fact, there’s no reason negotiations can’t be carried out in good humour.  
  3. Be Realistic: Whether you are buying new or used, the seller will need to attain a certain price for the car, and it is not unreasonable for this price to include a profit margin. 
  4. The Part Exchange Factor: When you’re part exchanging a vehicle as part of the buying process, the trade-in value for your old car is just as important as any discount you can negotiate on the price of the new vehicle.
  5. Be Prepared to Walk Away: If you can’t agree on a price that is right for both buyer and seller, it is absolutely fine to walk away. Until you have paid a deposit, you are under no obligation to buy (just as the seller is under no obligation to sell). 

For further advice on getting a good deal on your car purchase visit: https://www.cargurus.co.uk/Cars/articles/negotiating_for_beginners