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Trusting Sellers: What profession would you most trust buying a car from?


Our recent survey reveals 1 in 4 car buyers would most trust a vicar when buying a used vehicle. 

When asked what profession a used car buyer would most trust buying from when looking for a used car in the private market, one in four buyers said they would most trust a vicar. Surprisingly, only 19% voted a motor mechanic the most trustworthy person to buy a used car from, however, this was the second most trusted profession.

Doctors and medical professionals came in third at 15%, with teachers scoring 12%. Bottom of the table were builders (1%), IT professionals (2%) and surprisingly, members of the armed forces scored just 4%, along with admin staff and secretaries. Interestingly lawyers, accountants and sales professionals all scored 6%.

Whilst members of the armed forces gave buyers cause concern, 47% of those surveyed actually said they would be more likely to buy a used car from a person wearing a uniform. When asked which uniforms symbolise trustworthiness, Police Officers top the table at 51%, followed by fire fighters at 47% and nurses at 39%. Beauticians and supermarket workers came bottom of the pile at just 2%, below fast food staff (3%). Ironically, a motor mechanic scores just 6%, based on their uniform.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI, comments, “It seems that used car buyers need to remember the old adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. Nearly half of the people we surveyed would be swayed by a used car seller in a uniform, which means they could also be duped by shiny paintwork and a rock bottom price. If that vehicle is stolen or on outstanding finance, an unsuspecting buyer could lose the vehicle and the money they paid for it, when it’s returned to the rightful owner.

Conducting a vehicle history check, such as is the best way to find out if a seller is telling the truth and will reveal if a vehicle is recorded by the Police as stolen, has a tampered mileage reading, or has outstanding finance registered against it or an insurance write-off.

“It’s important to remember that unscrupulous sellers will do whatever it takes to con innocent used car buyers out of their cash, including impersonating people in authority. That’s why we advise car buyers to use their head, not their heart when buying a used car.”

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written-off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee* in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.

Happy driving,