Woman looking at cars at a dealership

Nearly 50% of people fear car showroom rip-off

In a new survey commissioned by InsuretheGap of 2000 UK drivers, nearly half of respondents (49%) told us they hated going to car showrooms for fear the salesperson will try to rip them off.

by Andrew Segal 3rd October 2017

This was felt more strongly by women, with 54% making this claim versus 45% of men. Women revealed they were twice as likely as men to feel intimidated when buying a car (40% vs. 20%) as they “don’t know enough about it”. This was again the case regarding being embarrassed by not understanding technical jargon, with 30% of women admitting to this compared to 16% of men.

Younger age groups were also of a similar mindset, with 47% of 18-34 year olds saying they would feel intimidated in a car showroom. This is compared to an overall average of 30%. Almost three quarters (74%) of respondents say they take what car showroom salespeople say with a pinch of salt.

The survey also revealed that 19% of drivers buy a new car whenever their current one dies, or if the repairs will cost more than the car is worth. Woman are more likely than men to wait until the car dies or costs more to repair than it’s worth, 24% vs. 14%.

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Ben Wooltorton, Director here at InsuretheGap.com, says: “Car salesrooms should be buzzing in early autumn with the new number plates, but this data suggests that dealerships have a lot of work to do to make them a more enticing and less intimidating place for many. Buying a car is an enormous investment and people need to feel absolute trust and confidence in who they’re buying from.”

The research also found that most people ignore the ‘add-ons’ that dealerships try to sell with the car. Amongst these is GAP insurance, which is often costlier than buying it direct from a specialist provider such as ourselves.

Legislation was passed in September 2015 that prevented dealerships offering GAP insurance at the point of purchase, and instead forcing a four-day buffer before it can be sold to the customer. They also must fully explain the policy’s significant features and benefits, and unusual exclusions and limitations.