The perfect car might be a few reviews away

The perfect car might be a few reviews away

Everyone who’s ever purchased a car knows that navigating the automotive market and finding the right vehicle for you is no easy feat. With so many car makes and models out there and so many aspects to take into account, deciding on a specific vehicle can turn into a stressful and tedious experience. If you’re a first-time car buyer with very limited knowledge of automobiles, the process can be all the more daunting.

The last thing you want is to end up with a car that doesn’t meet your needs, or worse, breaks down when you least expect it. Purchasing the wrong vehicle can be more than an expensive mistake; it can turn into a health and safety hazard, putting you at greater risk of accidents. And with road collisions on the rise across the UK and an equally concerning rate of car accident compensation claims, you have all the reasons to put all your focus and effort into picking a suitable car.

So, if you find yourself in this both privileged and problematic position, where should you begin your search? Is it best to rely on word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family? Or should you put your trust in car dealers and your own diver instincts when taking a car for a test drive? While all these strategies can make the process smoother, experts recommend paying special attention to online reviews.

Online reviews are the heart of modern-day commerce

With the advent of the internet and increased digitalisation, our shopping habits have changed significantly. We no longer have to go to a physical store to buy the goods and the services we require as we can do it via smart devices from the comfort of our own homes. The transition to the virtual realm and the emergence of e-commerce have turned online reviews into a primary source of information for customers and a reliable tool for conducting research on any given item, cars included.

Statistics back up the importance of online reviews in the purchase process. Data from Global Newswire shows that as many as 95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, with 58% of buyers being inclined to spend more on products that receive positive reviews.

Trustpilot provides similar figures, revealing that checking online reviews plays a key role in the purchase process for almost 89% of customers. Bright Local data offers further insight into the matter, showing that for nearly half of consumers, online reviews are just as important as direct recommendations from family and friends. What’s more, according to Review Trackers, about 70% of internet users employ rating filters when scouting the market for local businesses, usually ruling out companies below the 4-star rating.

These figures prove just how much online reviews weigh in the balance during the purchase process for most people these days, so it makes perfect sense to apply the same research mechanism when buying something as expensive as a car.

The benefits of reading online reviews before purchasing a car

If you’re wondering how online reviews can make the purchase process easier for car buyers, here are a few aspects that are worth noting.

First of all, we all know that needs and preferences differ from one buyer to another. Someone who goes on road trips or travels on rocky terrain frequently will have different search criteria when looking for a car than a person who only intends to use the vehicle for daily commute and short trips around town or a buyer with numerous family. So, it’s not enough to read one or two reviews to figure out if the car’s features and characteristics are right for you or not. But if you keep on reading and go through more reviews, you’ll surely be able to find the answer to most of your questions and get a general idea of how compatible you’d be with specific car models.

When buying a car, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Online reviews remove the surprise factor from the equation as they provide information about every single detail that might be of importance to a potential buyer, from fuel efficiency to cargo space, durability and so on. The more you read, the more you learn about a car’s advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed decision before you sign on the dotted line.

Online reviews are also a very valuable source of information when it comes to perks and extra features that you might not be able to find on websites or when visiting dealerships. This gives you the opportunity to explore the standard features and the add-ons that a car offers and decide what would benefit you and what the final price tag would be after taking all these aspects into account.

It's important to note that online reviews often go beyond addressing car features. Some customers take the time to write detailed reviews about the entire process, including how they’ve picked a dealership and the experience they’ve had with the salespeople, documenting every step of the purchase. Such thorough information can be extremely helpful for someone who’s never purchased a car before.

Last but not least, online reviews allow you to compare and contrast a wide range of car makes and models, and read up on the features that make them similar and the ones that set them apart. That should help you make up your mind when you’re finding it difficult to choose between two or more options.

Wrapping up

In the end, purchasing a car is a very personal experience that everyone approaches differently. But online reviews should always be a part of the equation as they provide a wealth of useful information for free from people who have already gone through the process you’re about to go through. So, you can learn from their wisdom and mistakes and use everything to your advantage.

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