Top Car Buyer Regrets Include Overpaying for a New Car and Not Doing Enough Research

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New York, NY – While car buyers regard price as a top consideration, roughly a quarter (23%) say that their worst mistake when purchasing a car was overpaying for a new car that quickly depreciated in value, according to a new survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted January 15-20, 2009. For the survey, a national sample of 1,005 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Quota sampling and weighting were employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. adult population according to U.S. Census data and to provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of 1,005 respondents, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Worst Car Buying Decision

Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) say that the worst decision that they have made when buying a car was paying too much for a new car that depreciated. This is particularly true among those with a household income of $50,000 or more (28%), married adults (28%) and 35 to 54 year olds (29%).

One in five (20%) say that their worst mistake was not doing enough research. One in seven admit to buying the wrong car (14%), or buying from an untrustworthy source (14%). Those without a college degree are nearly twice as likely as college graduates to say that they bought a car from an unreliable source (16% vs. 9%).

Less than 10% regret not getting the extended service plan (9%) or not reviewing the paperwork before signing on the dotted line (7%). Twelve percent of respondents have never had the chance to make these mistakes, saying that they have never bought a car.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Nicolas Boyon
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
(646) 364-7583

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Top Car Buyer Regrets Include Overpaying for a New Car and Not Doing Enough Research

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Nicolas Boyon
Senior Vice President, US
Head of Health Services Research

Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 212 293 6544