The top 10 barriers named by consumers when considering buying a used car have been revealed in new research for the RAC Dealer Network.

Having to travel too far to view a vehicle is the number one reason, named by 46% of people. It is followed by a lack of detail in the description (44%), an absence of someone to speak to easily (43%), and a dealer not being accredited (42%).

Other leading responses included a lack of detail in the pictures (38%), information on the dealer web site not being up to date (36%) and not being aware of the dealership or its brand (30%).

Finally, respondents also named different deals being offered to showroom and online buyers (26%), absence of free add-ons such as quality checks, MOT or service (26%) and inability to purchase add-ons such as extended warranties (18%).

The question, ‘Which factors might stop you from buying a car?’ was asked in a survey of 1,164 respondents carried out by Harris Interactive for RAC and Assurant, which partners with the RAC in the warranty and aftersales sectors.

Kellie Grocott, RAC director of sales at Assurant, said: “This research provides a fascinating insight into the real-world priorities of used car buyers when it comes to important trigger points in the customer journey.

“What it shows is that customers, more than anything, value service and convenience factors such as proximity to the dealership, a good vehicle description and being able to reach someone to talk to about the car in which they are interested.”

Grocott added that it was noteworthy that reputational factors had also been shown to be significant by the research.

“It’s interesting that 42% of buyers are looking for some form of accreditation from their dealer, as this is a subject that is, we believe, not often discussed among car retailers. It does show a desire for some form of consumer reassurance.

“Findings elsewhere in our research underlined this customer aspiration. We also asked which factors were important when it came to buying a used car and 55% of respondents named ‘a reputable seller’ while 33% cited ‘reassurance that a dealer confirms to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) accredited code.’

“This is an area where we feel that the RAC Dealer Network scores very highly, thanks to the presence of the RAC brand and, when it comes to RAC Approved Dealers, our relationship with CTSI.

“Car buyers rightly recognise that organisations of this calibre would only work with dealers who meet the highest customer service standards.”

The top 10 results are:

Having to travel too far to view the car 46%
Lack of detail in the car description 44%
Inability to speak to someone easily and readily 43%
Lack of reassurance if the dealer is not accredited 42%
Lack of detail in pictures 38%
Information on the dealer web site not up to date 36%
Not being aware of the dealership or its brand 30%
Different deals being offered to showroom and online buyers 26%
Absence of free add-ons such as quality checks, MOT or service 26%
Inability to purchase add-ons such as extended warranties 18%

*Research source: Harris Interactive for RAC & Assurant, July 2021