One in 10 used car buyers 'don't go for a test drive'

Around 10 per cent of used car buyers surveyed for a car-buying website said that they didn’t bother to test drive the vehicle or even start the engine before handing over their hard-earned cash.

The surprising research comes from webuyanycar.com, which quizzed 1,000 people about their buying experiences. It also found that when it came to buying a brand new car, a slightly larger percentage didn't test drive their first choice vehicle or any other models.

Although the figures may seem surprising, it still suggests that the majority of customers do want to get behind the wheel and get a feel for the vehicle they fancy. Therefore, it’s important to have a good road risks insurance policy in addition to your general motor trade insurance to ensure that clients can take the vehicle for a decent test drive.

The website’s research suggests that if the figures are consistent across the 7.2 million people who bought a used car last year, then there could be 720,000 people who first drove their new vehicle after paying for it. It said that around £8.7 billion of cars were sold in 2015 to people who did not know how the car handled or even if it had any underlying issues.

A spokesman from the site told AM-Online: “It could mean a million motorists buy a car each year having little idea how the car performs or even if it has problems, which could plague them later on down the road.”

Researchers said part of the issue was due to car buyers lacking confidence when they went to view a vehicle, as well as having little knowledge of what to look for during a test drive. Fewer than five per cent took an ‘expert’ with them to assess the vehicle and only seven per cent said they were accompanied by someone who ‘knew about cars'.