Sunday 30 April 2017

Irish people are loyal to the same car type but not brand, research reveals

Irish motorists are more loyal to a type of car rather than a brand
Irish motorists are more loyal to a type of car rather than a brand
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

We tend to buy the same type of car each time we change - but we're not nearly as loyal to the brand, new research suggests.

It found that four-in-five (81pc) of used-car owners and 76pc of new-vehicle buyers repeatedly purchase the same type of car - saloon, hatch, SUV etc. But the brand is likely to be different.

The figures show that 68pc of used and 47pc of new-car owners change brand when they change car.

The study into car-purchasing trends was undertaken by the Auto Trader giant in the UK.

There is always the danger of applying such findings too literally to the Irish market, of course, but the volume of used imports suggests that those findings are relevant here too.

In an increasingly digital and globalised approach to researching online before buying, the latest data does go to show how people seem to be constantly sifting and shifting their options.

Are we that different in Ireland? I don't think so, though I suspect many of us do our research across brands but end up staying with the same marque a second and third time.

Among some of the survey's findings in the 1,000-consumer sample were:

* Volkswagen took the honours as the brand to which most people remained loyal - with 26pc of owners repeat buying. (I'd suggest that figure is much higher in Ireland).

* Fewer of those interviewed said they would buy a BMW a second time around. Again, it is open to conjecture if Irish buyers would switch that much at that level of the premium market. My instinct is that they would be far more inclined to stick.

* The core element for loyalty was trust in the brand and dealer.

* Strangely, after-sales was least influential in determining if they came back again.

* New hatchback drivers are the most loyal, with 38pc choosing to repeat buy.

* Not surprisingly, loyalty for SUVs was up 17pc.

* Superminis and convertibles suffered small declines in repeat purchases.

What do you think? Are you planning on changing brand or car-type, and why? Do let us know at: ecunningham@independent.ie

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