Economy prompts many to consider pre-owned vehicles, according to poll

While many factors are weighed by consumers on whether or not they want to buy a new car, one of the most common considerations is how the economy is faring. According to a recent poll, last year, more than half of new-car shoppers considered a pre-owned vehicle because of how the U.S. economy was functioning at the time.

The poll, conducted by AutoTrader.com*, found that at the end of 2011, 60 percent of individuals looking to buy a new car were more likely to at the very least consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle because of the economy. In addition, 29 percent of new-car shoppers who were considering buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle were doing so for the first time.

CPO sales jumped 17 percent in March

This may help explain why the number of purchases for CPO vehicles has risen, as the automotive website found that CPO sales jumped nearly 8 percent over a 12-month period between March 2011 and 2012. On a monthly basis, the total number of CPO vehicles sold was nearly 174,500, a 17 percent uptick when contrasted with February.

Rick Wainschel, vice president of automotive insights at AutoTrader.com, noted how the trend of finances dictating car buyers’ vehicle purchasing decisions is nothing new.

“Time and again, our research has shown that economic conditions over the last few years have caused numerous shifts in consumer shopping behavior—from when they plan to purchase to the types of vehicles they are considering,” said Wainschel. “In many ways, CPO vehicles present a balanced set of benefits for car shoppers, offering a lower price point than a new car but with a better warranty and more peace of mind than a used car.”

It is not just economics that have many motorists considering pre-owned vehicles. The survey also found that their warranties were a factor as well, as 68 percent of respondents said they gave them added peace of mind. In addition, more than half said the warranty on a CPO would likely be better than one that was offered on a traditional used car.

Cost of gasoline also having an effect

Prices at the pump are also influencing car buyers’ choice of car, Wainschel noted.

“High gas prices are certainly having an effect on the vehicles shoppers are considering, as we’re seeing more fuel-efficient vehicles gaining ground in consumer interest,” said Wainschel.

Some of the CPO vehicles that garnered the most interest on AutoTrader.com’s website in March included the BMW 3 Series, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Honda Civic and Ford F-150. Wainschel added that while interest in trucks like the Ford-F150 has waned, “the decrease is not yet as dramatic as one would expect.”

*according to AutoTrader.com on April 12, 2012

via Peter Montanez

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