Study finds that lots of us don't know what car we really want
It's half and half when it comes to knowing what we want to buy, according to a new study.
Slightly more than half (52pc) potential buyers know the make and model they want before searching for their next used car.
But nearly as many, 48pc, don't really have much of an idea of what they should be looking for.
Of that 48pc more than a quarter (27pc) haven't a clue what they want. And more women (32pc) than men (21pc) start the process with a blank sheet of paper
The research from Auto Trader's Buyer Behaviour Study and undertaken by GfK1 also shows that younger people are more likely to start out without any definite make or model in mind.
More than a third (36pc) of those aged 17-24 didn't know compared with only one-in-four over 45s.
While the figures may seem extraordinary, there is every reason to suspect they have been of that magnitude for a long time.
People are often overwhelmed by the names, models and uses of cars out there. It has been our experience here in Independent Motors that people are genuinely puzzled about the size and profile of car that they need.
I think it represents an area where sales people and dealers, in particular, can play a central role in informing people in a straightforward manner.
Auto Trader's Nick King says some buyers make decisions online because it's easy and they feel more in control. "By the time they make the journey to a physical forecourt, most will have researched extensively: they will know exactly what car they want, how much they should be paying for it, and a lot about the retailer from which they wish to buy."
However, he points out that "many need support in taking their first steps". He says it is up to those selling cars to make it as easy as possible for "both the committed petrol head" and the "nervous novice" to narrow choices.