Motorists would rather be stuck in a lift than visit a car dealer

dealership stress

Buying a car from a dealer is as anxiety-inducing as planning a wedding, buying a house or being stuck in a lift.

That’s according to a study commissioned by insurance comparison site, which looked at the impact of a car purchase on buyers. No wonder new car sales are falling. 

By measuring cortisol levels as the subjects entered a car dealership, researchers were able to ascertain exactly how stressful the situation is for buyers. Remarkably, average stress was around double the recommended safe level, based on the 31 participants.

This stress manifested itself in symptoms like hyperventilating, sweating, a lack of concentration and a raised heart rate – all serious anxiety indicators.

dealership stress

Other situations that drivers find equally stressful, or in which they would rather find themselves, include being stuck in a lift (37 percent), interviewing for a job (44 percent), moving house (42 percent) and planning a wedding (36 percent). And 54 percent of respondents said buying a car was at least as stressful as going to the dentist.

Why is buying a car so stressful?

The financial side of buying a car is a major cause of anxiety. Of the 15 percent who committed to car finance contracts, one in four accepted a deal on the spot. One in five said they didn’t understand the deal they got. 

This follows the Financial Conduct Authority’s investigation into drivers overpaying for cars by an average of £1,000.

dealership stress

“The thought of having to walk into a car dealership and negotiate is enough to put the most experienced haggler on pins,” said Amanda Stretton, Motoring Editor at

“Many of us let confusing jargon and our nerves get the better of us, meaning we walk away with a bad deal.”

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