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More fool online car buyers?

Apparently buying a car online isn’t as risky as often thought, according to research by the UK’s largest online used car retailer.

In a survey of 9,048 respondents, Autoquake.com found that the number of buyers that would be happy to consider buying a car online has increased by 14 per cent over the last three years, with ‘conventional places’ to shop for a used car, such as car supermarkets and independent dealers, dropping in popularity over the same period.

To improve the online car buying process, Autoquake.com provides its buyers with in-depth listings including over 40 photos for every car, plus a 7-day money-back guarantee to increase buyers’ confidence.  According to the retailer, only 1.4 per cent of its customers have made use of its refund option.

But despite these features, something tells us that the traditional process of visiting a dealer, whether chain, independent or private, will never go out of fashion. The ability to view and scrutinise the car and its paperwork in person and ask all the important questions face-to-face has lasting value.

You can deduce sellers’ ingenuity (or lack of). You have the freedom to cover yourself at every opportunity, and that reassuring handshake to secure a good deal. It makes it easier to feel confident that you have bought a great vehicle and not a lemon.

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