Buying a new car – The choice is frightening

During the past few years, as car makers have become more technologically advanced and others have emerged from the Far East and China, it seems as if there is a new model brought to market every week. In fact hold on it’s probably more like 2 or 3!

This is good in terms of consumer choice but not necessarily great for the environment or in the case of Saab for instance could lead to the demise of some established and iconic car brands as the fight for market share gets ever more challanging.

According to research by trade publication Glasses Guide the growing number of diverse products brought to market is creating consumer confusion with 29 per cent of people surveyed saying they found the number of models available to be “overwhelming”.

More worrying for car dealers however is that 51 per cent of the respondents reported being unable to test drive their model of choice when they visited the relevant showroom, which may mean that dealer demonstrator fleets are not as representative as they should be.

In terms of choice, in my experience, my first sales manager would always tell me to keep it simple; the more choice you give the buyer the harder it is for them to make a decision, husband disagrees with wife and vice versa and the effect would usually be no sale.

Instead he said concentrate on qualifying and then offer them no more than 3 examples, quickly get rid of one example and then say it’s one or the other. This may seem an overly simplistic way of solving a potential problem but I was reminded of this when I went to choose a new flat screen TV recently. Being a dealer and will be till the day I die, I just have to find the best deal and then better it. What I wasn’t expecting was the endless trawling around shops trying to remember which TV came with what package and then it dawned on me that if this is what choosing a £500 TV is like I pity the buyer looking to buy a car worth many thousands more.

It really is a minefield out there and, perhaps like electrical equipment, is any model really that much better at a similar price? So therefore should we just stick to what we like the look of and what fits our budget the best and take it from there?

One thing is for certain; with so many new models coming to market and this year the manufacturers will be keener than ever to promote their green credentials. I still believe that customers will go green if they can first see the benefits to themselves before the planet, but as we have never had so much choice and especially in fantastic quality, technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing road warriors I wish you all the best of luck!

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