Millennials more likely to drive a hard bargain for cars than baby boomers

William Jolly By on September 13, 2019
 
Gumtree cars buying car

Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

Gumtree research has revealed generational divides when it comes to Australian car purchasing habits, and it’s the younger generation that’s slightly more likely to negotiate a good price.

According to Gumtree, 23% of millennials (aged 25-39) say they would be ‘very confident’ to negotiate a good price on a car compared to 21% of baby boomers.

This is despite a generational gap in knowledge existing, with 67% of millennials saying they are ‘least knowledgable’ when making an informed decision to buy a car.

In comparison, 79% of baby boomers said they were ‘confident’ about making an informed decision. Meanwhile, 14% of millennials find the car buying experience confusing compared to just 8% of baby boomers.

Even with the lack of confidence, younger buyers look forward to the car buying experience more than their boomer counterparts.

A significant 45% of 18-24 year olds (Gen Z) say they’re excited by the prospect of buying a car, while only 25% of boomers can say they same, probably because the novelty factor has worn off.

The results show 17% of millennials felt a sense of pride when buying their car compared to just 4% of baby boomers.

Gumtree Cars ambassador Grant Denyer, a former V8 supercar driver, said he can understand why younger people are more excited about the prospect of buying a new car.

“Your first car will always be a big deal, no matter what. I definitely felt that way about my first car, which was a second-hand Toyota Corolla named Lola,” Mr Denyer said.

“You become emotionally attached to your first set of wheels.”

Australians of all ages are willing to sacrifice to get a good deal on a car.

On average, the research found consumers said they would travel up to 65 kilometers to save $500, 120km to save $1,000 and nearly 300km to save $1,500.

The research also found that the primary method of buying is beginning to make a U-turn from bricks and mortar dealerships towards online methods.

Online is the first step for the majority (52%) and almost everyone (92%) goes online when researching their next potential car – the average consumer spends about six weeks researching online before going for a test drive.

“We are in the great age of comparison right now. We have so much information available to us and with a quick Internet search you know what a car is worth,” Mr Denyer said.

“So that’s great as a buyer because you can walk into a situation knowing what you should be getting before getting talked into a specific price. Knowledge is power.”

Top tips for buying a car

Here are Grant Denyer’s tips for buying either a new or used car.

1. Doing research saves time in the end

“When looking for your next potential car, do your research before making the journey to test it out.”

“Ask for as many photos as you see fit before you get on your way to have a look at the car.”

2. Strength in numbers

“When going on a test drive, take someone with you who knows enough about cars.”

“This way you can be sure you’re being smart about your next purchase – you can always ask an independent mechanic or workshop to conduct a more thorough inspection.”

3. Look further to save

“You can make big savings if you are willing to look beyond your local area for your next car.”

“Gumtree’s research shows that many price-savvy Aussies have already caught on, with many willing to drive as far as 120 kilometres to save $1,000, which is not a bad reward for a scenic ride.”

4. Be smart about the price tag

“Realistically, sellers are going to be ready for a little bit of bartering so you might as well go in lower than the initial asking price.”

“This comes hand-in-hand with knowing how much that model is selling for elsewhere and how your potential new car fits into the price range.”

Gumtree’s research found 34% of us are happy to purchase a second-hand car from an online marketplace.

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William Jolly
William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research firm Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.
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