Loyalty cars: Are brands losing their polish?

Just 4 percent of car leasing customers surveyed said brand is a ‘crucial’ factor in the car buying decision process. Price and availability are important.

Do you haggle when buying a new car? One in seven buyers don't – because they think it's RUDE

When choosing a new car, price and availability are more important than the brand. That’s according to the results of a new car leasing study.

It found that just 4 percent of customers rated brand as a crucial consideration when searching for a new car. Meanwhile, 15 percent claimed they had not considered the brand at all.

Nationwide Vehicle Contracts says car manufacturers spend an average of £775 per vehicle on advertising alone, so is this money well spent?

Of the 3,058 leasing customers surveyed, 28 percent said price was a crucial factor, making it the most important consideration. Ten percent said vehicle availability was a crucial consideration.

We tend to live in the here and now, with customers accustomed to having immediate access to music, films, games and food. Having to wait weeks, even months, for a new car isn’t an option for some. Opting for a delivery via physical stock is preferable, even if it means forgoing some personalisation options.

‘No bad cars nowadays’

Mitsubishi Mirage 2019

Keith Hawes, a director at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts said: “These results suggest that many of our customers are not as loyal to a particular brand as perhaps they once were. There really are no bad cars nowadays, and most share similar technology, platforms and features. Our customers often have a specific budget in mind and, their priority is to get the best possible value for their money.

“Last year, over 70 percent of the vehicles we delivered were via physical stock, proving vehicle availability remains a key driver for our customers.

“More than ever, customers are craving quicker transactions and delivery lead times. They simply don’t want to wait around for a car. Customers are instead picking a vehicle that suits their needs in terms of both availability and price.”

But don’t be too quick to dismiss brand as an unimportant factor in the car buying journey. Around a fifth (19 percent) of those survey said brand was still important to them, even if the study implies a decline in motivation towards a specific brand. Maintaining a positive and appealing brand profile remains important, even if it’s to ensure the name stays on the shortlist for the next car.

The fact that the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class are two regulars in the top ten sales charts suggests that brand still has a vital role to play. This is particularly true in the UK, where premium brands remain popular. 

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Gavin Braithwaite-Smithhttp://www.petrolblog.com
Writer with a penchant for #FrenchTat. Also doing a passable impression of Cousin Eddie in an Italian-German beige motorhome.

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