A new report from BCA shows that UK motorists plump for class and style when asked to choose from a list of dream used cars.
From a list that ranged from the powerful (Michael Schumacher’s F1 car) to the functional (Tony Blair’s Ford Galaxy), the clear favourite was James Bond’s Aston Martin, chosen by 31%.
Sean Connery drove the classic silver birch Aston Martin DB5 in the 1964 film Goldfinger. Aston Martin models were also featured in Thunderball, The Living Day Lights and Goldeneye and more recently Pierce Brosnan drove a V12 Vanquish in Die Another Day. While it was the choice of 37% of men, just 25% of women choose the Aston Martin as their favourite.
In joint-second place with 14% each were Jarimoquai’s Enzo Ferrari and John ‘Two Jags’ Prescott’s Jaguar, each attracting similar votes from men and women. The singer’s racy supercar split the vote with the politician’s elegant saloon, but Prescott will take some comfort from the fact he came out above his boss in a poll for once.
Tony Blair’s Ford Galaxy tied with lad’s magazine favourite Jordan and her Bentley Azure at 8%, with both attracting more votes from women than men. Kylie’s Street Ka gained 5% of the vote, with four times as many women as men choosing this little topless number. Michael Schumacher’s F1 car attracted just 4% of the vote – despite being the most expensive car in the list – while Ozzy Osbourne’s Quad Bike and Del Boy’s Reliant trailed in at the back of the grid with 2% and 1% respectively.
Elsewhere in the Used Car Market Report 2004 from BCA and Sewells International it is revealed that the used car market reached record values last year as UK motorists bought even more used cars.
A total of 7.2 million used cars were sold in the UK last year for a value of £32 billion – the highest value ever recorded for used car sales. The figures represent an increase of 637,000 units and an additional £3.9 billion in value year on year.
UK motorists still prefer to buy from a dealer, with retail sales accounting for 3.8 million used cars worth £23.7 billion – the average forecourt value last year was £6,132. Dealers sell 71.9% of all cars aged 8 years and under. Private-to-Private sales accounted for just under 3 million units, worth £6.3 billion – around a quarter of the value of sales from dealers. The average Private sale price fell from £2,270 to £2,094. Private sales are dominated by older cars – with 73.8% of cars aged over nine years being sold this way.
The Report shows there are 29 million cars on the road and the average age of a car fell last year to 6.8 years - its lowest point in a decade. Motorists are not keeping cars as long as they used to – the percentage of cars surviving 15 years or more has fallen to 37.5% having been 40% plus throughout the late 1990s. Increased new car diesel sales are making their mark on the UK’s roads, however, and diesel numbers grew by more than half a million in 2003, to 4.2 million cars.
Motorists were asked what had influenced their choice of their current used car: Make/model at 51% remains the biggest factor as it has consistently done in previous years. Buyers seem to be placing more emphasis on ‘low mileage’ with 42% citing this factor (up by 7 points year on year). Other strongly influencing factors included the age of the car at 29%, the body type at 25%, specification at 17% and the insurance group at 15%. Once again, environmental factors only influenced 3% in their choice of car – a persistent trend over the years.
Satisfaction with used cars has hit a record high at 96%. 72% of motorists were "very satisfied" and a further 24% were "quite satisfied." Only 1% of used car buyers were "quite dissatisfied" and just 1% "very dissatisfied" with their cars. This satisfaction rating has remained at 90%+ levels each time the report has been published.
BCA’s Tim Naylor commented “This annual BCA report has been charting the highs and lows of the used car market for many years, but one factor has always shone through – the importance people place on having personal transport. For nearly three-quarter’s of UK homes this means a used car so it is no wonder that people take such care in choosing the car their family travels in.”
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