CNW Research defines an “emotional buyer” as one who buys a used vehicle to fulfill his or her dream of owning that specific model.
And according to this month’s Retail Automotive Summary from CNW, this kind of buyer is coming back to the dealership.
So, what's behind the resurgence?
It appears economic improvement has played a big role. During the deepest points of the recession, fewer than 3 percent of used-car customers fit into the “emotional buyer” category, which CNW president Art Spinella described as consumers buying a used vehicle “because they've 'always wanted one' of a particular make and model.”
Now, as the economy continues to recover, the company’s most recent data shows more than 7 percent of user-car shoppers are looking for their dream car.
On the other hand, the share of used-car buyers who say they are replacing a vehicle that is no longer reliable is increasing, as well, with 43.75 percent of pre-owned shoppers citing vehicle replacement as their motivation for buying used.
“But these trends are fragile and wouldn’t take much of an economic burp to cut the legs out from under the 'wanted one' buyers. It’s an easy purchase to postpone,” said Spinella.
However, some of the factors contributing to customer's decisions to buy used are not as easily swayed.
Another big factor behind used sales is “change is family condition,” according to CNW, with 25.85 percent of used purchases spurred by this situation.
Lastly, children reaching their Sweet 16 adds to used sales rates, as well. Having a new driver in the household accounts for 5.63 percent of used purchases.