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Types of Car Shoppers

Have you ever ‘driver watched’ at a red light? We all know the different types of cars – SUVs, hatchbacks, sedans, utes – just to name a few. But what about different types of car shoppers?

Us Aussies love a good car and the stats prove it. Per capita, there are 775 vehicles per 1000 people in Australia. To give reference;

China: 219 vehicles per 1000

Germany: 546 vehicles per 1000

Japan: 614 vehicles per 1000

Australia: 775 vehicles per 1000

The USA: 822 vehicles per 1000

With numbers like that, there are a lot of car shopper types in Australia. Which category (or categories) do you fall into?

Common Car Shopper Types

The Researcher

Top Cars: Tesla models, WRX STi, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan GT-R, Mazda MX-5, Toyota Landcruiser, VW Golf GTI

Aka: Car Nerds. If you’re a researcher, you know exactly what you want and don’t want. You’ve done hours of research online beforehand and will often outfox salespeople on statistics such as manufacturing locations, power outputs and features per trim level. The researchers represent the group least likely to be interested in ‘other options’ if the one they’re looking for isn’t available. You’ve spent hours comparing car loans and prices and have locked in a make, model and trim level.

Pros: You know exactly what you want.

Cons: If it’s not exactly what you want, you’ll have to wait.

The Test Pilot

Top Cars: None, although some Volvos, Mercedes and Audis come close

Aka: The Indecisives. You want to be 110% sure you make the right purchase. You’ll spend every Saturday morning messaging private sellers online and visiting car dealers – and going for test drives, leaving the seller with the famous last words; ‘thanks, I’ll let you know’. Like the Researchers, you’ll do your homework, but you’ll look at the common issues and problems that owners and critics have found and likely dismiss the vehicle entirely.

Pros: You take everything into consideration from car loans and rates to tyre life and seat fabric.

Cons: Your friends and family constantly say “oh, haven’t you bought a car yet!?”.

The Shrewd Negotiator

Top Cars: Kia Picanto, Mazda2 Neo, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi Triton

Aka: The Penny-pincher. If you hear the words ‘rust proofing’, ‘service fee’ or ‘premium petrol’ – you’re long gone. You’re smart with money and have looked into every possible price breakdown and similar make / model available in Australia. Like the Researchers, you’ve compared all the car loans available and know the best rate and repayment options. You’ll notice every minute paint blemish or interior mark and use it to knock the price down.

Pros: You’re likely to get the best possible deal.

Cons: You’re likely to get into an argument with the seller.

The No-Fuss Buyer

Top Cars: Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV-4, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Subaru Forester, VW Golf TSI, Mazda CX-5

Aka: The Nice Types. You’re more interested in a smooth and simple purchase and leaving in a comfortable, reliable car. As long as it’s safe for the family, comes with a warranty and roof racks and does what you want it to, you’re open to all options. You’ve got more important things in life to think about than trim levels, oil grades and service intervals – but there better be cup holders and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto! When someone asks about your new car, you usually answer: “I dunno”.

Pros: Selling or trading in your old car and buying a new one is an easy process.

Cons: You might end up paying more than you should.

The Car Loans Character

Top Cars: (Cars with a high resale value) Honda Civic, Hyundai i30, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Toyota HiLux, Audi A5, Range Rover Evoque

Aka: The Financer. You prefer to make big purchases on credit, spending someone else’s money. This allows you to get a good car that matches your lifestyle without having to save up a lot of money over time. You’re also keen to get the best insurance options. You’ve shopped around to get the best car loans on the best models suited to you so have a decent range to choose from.

Pros: You’ve found a selection of cars that match your lifestyle, making choice and availability easy and you can get the keys quickly.

Cons: You’ll have to factor in those car loan repayments to your monthly budget.

End of the Day

In Australia, there are many types of car shoppers. All types of car shoppers have their pros and cons – make sure you do your homework to maximise those pros.

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