Drivers warned of long-term pain after short-term gain

A poll of 2,043 UK driving licence holders commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman has revealed that 73% would be more likely to buy a second hand car this year rather than a new one to help save money during the cost of living crisis.

More than a quarter (28%) of these respondents also explained that it would be their first ever experience of buying a used car.

Meanwhile, nearly half (44%) would turn to a private seller they did not know to source their next vehicle because this route can often be cheaper.

However, any savings made may be short-lived, and can carry an added element of risk for consumers.

Bill Fennell, managing director and chief ombudsman at The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Even though it may be perceived by some consumers that savings can be made in the shorter term by buying from a private individual, this could prove to be a false economy, as repair bills may mount up in the longer term, and turn a car into a very expensive liability.

“Spending time doing research, and choosing an established Motor Ombudsman-accredited retailer where a used car has undergone comprehensive checks prior to sale, is absolutely key. This is because, buyers will have a fully transparent view of the car’s condition and history to make a fully informed purchase, and can steer clear of any hidden and potentially costly surprises.”

Meanwhile, of the 73% of individuals who would be more likely to turn to the used car market in 2023, the overriding preference when it came to fuel type would be petrol (34%), followed by hybrid electric (18%), diesel (14%), and fully electric (six per cent).