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High car prices puts off buyers

  • 55 per cent of people asked won't buy a new car
  • Almost half blame the manufacturers' increased costs
  • Showroom tax and other rising costs also to blame

The continuing price rises have put people off buying a new car, according to a Parker's survey.

Just over half of the people asked said they wouldn't be buying a new car this year and of those people, 47 per cent said it was down to the price of new cars going up.

With March 1 seeing the launch of the new '10' number plate and traditionally a big rise in new car buying activity this may not be the case in 2010. 

Last year a number of manufacturers put up their prices, with many of them putting up prices on more than one occasion. Vauxhall, SEAT and Renault were just a few of the manufacturers that increased prices more than once. However, it was Ford that put prices the most with four rises in under a year with up to £2500 added to the price of a new Fiesta.

At the same time the 'showroom tax' set to be introduced in April was also one of the reasons people wouldn't buy a new car this year. This is a one-off first year tax. It will be used to charge people who buy cars with high emissions and could cost customers up to £950 for the most polluting models.

Other reasons for buyers not buying new is that many said they always buy used, while others pointed to the fact that they couldn't afford a car with all other costs with one user telling Parker's: "To buy new family hatchback you need at least 17k. My salary was frozen last year but cost of living went significantly up.

"On top of that mad price tag is higher insurance, VED, dealer's labour charges (my current car dealer raised hourly rate from £82 to £111 this year). I simply can't afford a new car."

Despite the reaction to these rising costs, there is some hope for car makers as 45 per cent of Parker's users questioned said that they would be buying a new car in 2010.

As well as the need to buy a new car being the main reason for people buying in 2010 the other two choices were people looking to take advantage of the scrappage scheme.

These buyers will now get longer to take part in the £2000 scrappage discount after the Government announced that the cash-for-scrap plans would be extended until March 31 or when the remaining funding runs out, depending on which comes first.

The pattern of buyers wanting to downsize cars looks set to continue as Parker's users also claimed that the reason for them looking to buy a new car was that wanted a more fuel efficient car.