“I do low miles so I want a low mileage car”

In the ever changing world of car sales the demands of buyers seem to be constantly one step ahead. For example I was in conversation with some car dealers recently who told me their selling criteria had certainly changed to meet the latest economic conditions but not just in the ways you might expect. Sure the cost of motoring has risen dramatically and with cuts biting deep most of us have less disposable cash and as a result want far more for our money. The obvious way of doing this is by buying smaller more economical cars which are cheaper to run and less costly to insure but also by doing less miles and not using their cars on a whim.

The interesting thing is that logic has always told me that if a motorist does exceptionally low mileage, say 5k or less a year, then a good saving can be made by buying a higher mileage car and significantly lowering the mileage during the period of ownership, therefore making it worth more in the long run.

If we said that a 3 year old medium sized h/b with 36k miles would cost a car buyer £9,995 a similar example with only 15k on the clock would cost approx £1,000 more, therefore as a low mileage user by definition you could be better off buying the higher mileage example.

The evidence however doesn’t seem to support this as low mileage users simply want low mileage cars and won’t countenance a higher mileage example; “I do low miles so I want a low mileage car” is the mantra.

This leads car dealers in some franchises to concentrate on selling lower mileage cars to meet the demand in a market where locating these examples is becoming increasingly difficult and provides yet another conundrum for car dealers as they look to profile their holding stock to precisely what customers are enquiring about at any given time.

The problem with this approach, of course, is that if you carry a certain profile of cars the data you collect will only be about the cars you mainly have. Unlike the old days when car buyers would make a more general enquiry because they perhaps didn’t have access to the wealth of information and massive choice online, buyers today are far more likely to enquire about specific examples.


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