We're spoiled for choice but is it getting far too confusing?
CARBUYERS are like children in a sweetshop these days – such is the choice and variation of models and niche motors.
Well, that's the impression I get from a new report which warns that there are far too many versions and consumers are being blinded and confused by it all.
Not only that, but the car information experts at CAP Automotive, say it will affect prices and sales in future.
They calculate that in the past three years there has been a 15pc increase in new-car derivatives.
But when you add in the increasing number of option and equipment 'packs' over the same period then there has been an 187pc increase.
The truly eye-opening figures have to do with the MINI.
Here's what the experts have to say: "The sheer complexity of tomorrow's used car choice is illustrated by looking at the popular MINI, with 709 derivatives available as new cars today. The number of option/combination/permutations for a MINI now stands at a staggering 65,836."
Imagine poring over all those before you make your choice. The figures are revealed in CAP's new vehicle database.
It says that even a relative newcomer such as the Opel Adam urban car can stretch to 72 versions and offers "a possible 7,290 possible combinations of options".
The core argument against this tidal wave of choice is, they argue, that increasing complexity leads to confusion and that "breeds caution in the trade".
They add: "Dealers are likely to be ever more wary of making valuation mistakes when part-exchanging with customers, or buying at auction for stock."
Without a 'fail safe' valuation system, dealers risk under-valuing or over-valuing cars because they are uncertain of their features.
But it is "an even bigger challenge for motorists" with consumers being more prone to unrealistic expectations of true market values.
What do you think? Do you find it confusing?