Other than a home, a car was one of the biggest investments that a person will make – however the developments in the automotive industry have reshaped the landscape of how the average consumer is now buying their cars.
Newer, but not brand-new cars
Over the past few years there has already been a steady decline in the sales of new cars, in 2018 alone these sales fell by a staggering 20%!
This is, in part due to the public’s changing perceptions of the used car industry, which is not more transparent, trustworthy and can offer you more bang for your buck. The more ready availability of finance options and a lower vehicle price, car buyers are more incentivised than ever to part ways with their cash. Online care dealerships are now offering the service of an instant car valuation, helping consumers come to terms with parting with a current car
The prospect of purchasing a brand-new car is also far less appealing to consumers, as their value depreciated the minute you drive off the forecourt!
Consumers are also more allured by the prospect of buying a car and driving away on the same day. It can take several weeks to actually get your hands on a brand-new car after signing for it, and with Brexit looming on the horizon consumers are increasingly wary of import times and costs.
Slow down on electric car sales
In 2019 we expect to see electric car sales plummeting. Although consumers are more conscious of fuel economy and the impact of emissions on the environment, the prospect of making the jump to buying that Prius or Tesla not as appealing as it once seemed. The main reason for this being the convenience of charging your car. While the ideology of charging your car is as simple as the idea of charging your phone, the infrastructure is just not there for car buyers to charge up on the go. Many shopping centres and rest stops provide electric car bays, however, the reality is that there simply aren’t enough to convince the average driver that it is a viable option.
Flashy, expensive cars will be a thing of the past
While a James Bond-esque muscle car may be the dream car for many, high-end expensive cars, in general, seem to be dying off. Car buyers are looking for more practical and cost-effective cars to help them get from A-B, favouring cars that are smaller and more efficient. It looks as though the sweet spot that people are happy to spend on their car is around £20,000.
With this we can expect to see lower-end car sales shoot up, in this year alone we have seen the worldwide sales of the manufacturer Dacia increase by 13.4%, and the Ford Fiesta being the UK’s top selling car of 2018.
PCP contracts will be on the rise
While 17-21-year olds choose to save up their well-earned cash to purchase a car outright, they are the only generation to favour this option of car ownership. PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) contracts are on the rise, particularly with 30-45-year olds, as they offer more flexibility with payments and provide the option to ‘upgrade’ your car more regularly. Our instant car valuation service has found that the average car buyer keeps their car for around four years before selling and moving on. PCP contracts provide these consumers with the ease of swapping cars with ease when the contract is coming to an end. They also provide easy and more manageable payments for consumers to own a car that they would not be able to pay outright for.
Manual transmission being phased out
Passing your driving test in a manual car is seen as a rite of passage for most people, however, when given the option people we are now seeing that more people are switching to a car with an automatic transmission. Not only are automatic cars seen as the easier option to drive, but cheaper cars with this transmission are now far more reliable and efficient, making them the far more appealing option for the average driver.
The car industry is ever evolving, and we are looking forward to seeing how different manufacturers will adapt to meet the evolving demands of their consumers.