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Avoid Car Buyer’s Remorse by Comparing Before You Buy

March 20, 2018

Each year, Americans purchase millions of cars and trucks. Buying a vehicle can be a massive investment of time and money, so it’s important to know that you won’t regret your decision after the drive home. 

To help understand how they approach car buying and what works best when it comes to getting the most out of their purchases, RepairPal surveyed over 1,000 Americans via a SurveyMonkey panel in February 2018. Here’s what we learned.

Quick link: Try out car comparison for yourself.

Do people compare cars before buying?

Almost a third (31%) of car owners surveyed said they did not compare vehicles before making their last car purchase. Perhaps they went into the buying process knowing exactly which vehicle they wanted, or they might have been overly impressed with the first vehicle they looked at.

However, the lion’s share said they did compare vehicles. More than half (57%) said they compared two to three different cars throughout the process, while 12% said they compared four or more.

How happy were car owners with their choice?

Overall, most of the people surveyed indicated that they were either satisfied (45%) or extremely satisfied (39%) with the car they bought.

But things get a little more interesting when we look at the satisfaction of those who didn’t compare vehicles versus those who did. 

Didn’t compare

Did compare

The difference may not be day-and-night, but it is there. Among those who chose to compared two or more cars, 85.9% reported being satisfied or extremely satisfied. Meanwhile, among those who didn’t compare, that number drops to 79.5%.

Quick link: Try out car comparison for yourself.

Did the factors people choose to compare affect their satisfaction down the road?

Primarily compared reliability
88% satisfied or extremely satisfied

Primarily compared the purchase price
87.3% satisfied or extremely satisfied

Primarily compared look, feel and comfort
87.3% satisfied or extremely satisfied

Where can you compare and find your next car?

RepairPal’s new Car Comparison feature lets you compare two vehicles side-by-side in terms of their reliability, repair costs and owner reviews.

Get started with some of the most popular comparisons:

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices using this tool, you can feel more confident when you head out to test drive the car or cars of your choice.

To see the full results and the methodology behind the survey, visit here.

About the Author

John Gower is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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