RAC, What Car and Even Mumsnet - Ignore Most Car Buyers

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A comparison of the UK's car review sites finds used car buyers are ignored with a handful of poor, out-of-date, reviews. WeLoveAnyCar.com finds even mumsnet prefers the gloss of a new car to used cars which are bought by most of its mums and 7 million drivers per year.

WeLoveAnyCar.com Car Review

Comparison of Car Review Sites 9th October 2013

great for single mummy, love it

In an analysis of used car review sites published by WeLoveAnyCar.com today, it is clear that millions of used car buyers have been starved of the most important information of all – recent opinions and ratings of motorists who have driven their car for years. Only a motorist who has lived with a car knows the good and the bad – especially when it comes to reliability, practicality and economy.

The survey posed a simple question based on the UK’s favourite used car buy – the Ford Fiesta: what car review sites have the most and the most recent car reviews?

Household names such as the AA and RAC appear to offer little advice on used cars at all. Brand leaders such as What Car had only 31 owner reviews of the Ford Fiesta 2008+ model and most of these were posted 2011 or before. Autotrader had more, 136, but 78% of their reviews were made in the last decade.

Only two sites stand out: WeLoveAnyCar.com has 62,535 car reviews, the biggest review site in the UK and is free. Which Car has less numbers but more in depth technical reviews. However, unlike WeLoveAnyCar.com, access comes at a price - £83.40 for a subscription although other Which services come included.

Trip Advisor and other reviews sites have grown massively over the last few years as prospective buyers seek the online opinion of others even when considering small purchases like a new kettle. However, until now, one of the most expensive purchases a person can make – a car – has been underserved.

Mumsnet.com, the well-respected site, say they are happy with their commercial tie up with What Car. But with only 31 reviews in 6 years for the most popular used car of choice for mums: the Ford Fiesta, they fall far short of offering the type of advice hard pressed mums need when buying their next all essential kid carrier.

Top Gear is unapologetic about their reviews. They are all new and exciting cars reviewed by well paid – and well-traveled - professional journalists. The first impressions of new car reviewers are important – but for the 7 million people who bought a used car last year (according to the DVLA) – a car’s performance over time is essential information.

Everyone has their own requirements from a car like this mum who reviewed her car on WeLoveAnyCar.com Car Review site, “I absolutely love my skoda roomster.. Im a single mum and this car is roomy enough to cope with all the jobs it has to handle .. dogs going for walks ..family luggage for holidays and rubbish to the dump!!.. I even sleep in it when Im doing medical cover on downhill mountain biking races at weekends.. with back seats up its comfy and roomy and with back seats down its a practical mini van!! I love it!!”    Hardly a Jeremy Clarkson review but a lot more practical.

Another mum said of her Vauxhall Zafira, “I personally love this car. I have 3 children and my mum to transport around the place and this accommodates us perfectly. Not particularly a hot wheels when it comes to speed but is safe and reliable.” Zafiras don't come top of any surveys but, for mums, they are one of the most popular choices of used cars.

Most of us buy used cars and many are for a particular need. Mums, in particular, see their car often as a means to an end such are their busy lives. As one mum said about her VW Sharan, “Does what it says on the tin. Great for moving 7 people about (eg 2 x mums + 5 x kids) when necessary (+ some bags). Taking 2 back seats out leaves massive bootspace for camping kit and bikes. VW reliability. 2-litre engine gives enough poke for motorways etc. Firm ride. Comfortable driving position.”

Of course, we are not all mums. All drivers have their priorities and requirements from a car. Unfortunately most of the well know car review sites pander to the new car buyer, not the needs of the everyday motorist. Even mumsnet forgets that not every mum is a yummy mummy new BMW X5 driver with bleached blond hair and sunglasses perched on her head who wants to show off her new car to other mums in the private school car park.

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David Titmuss
since: 07/2013
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