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Adults take a backseat to children in new car buying process

Children play a significant role on when and what we buy when it comes to a new car, a new survey has revealed.

78 per cent admitted having kids forced them to buy a new ride, while 37 per cent said that children go on to influence the decisions surrounding buying their next car, according to used car website Auto Trader. 

There were regional differences when it came to the level of pestering from kids. 55 per cent of Londoners said they were likely to be influenced, compared with 24 per cent in the North East.

In terms of gender, children would be wise to focus on pestering their dads as 39 per cent said they were open to help in the buying decision, compared with 33 per cent of mums.

The data revealed children have the most say on the colour of the new car, with 26 per cent of parents admitting to being influenced. Red was the most popular colour asked for (28 per cent), closely followed by blue (21 per cent), black (14 per cent) and pink (13 per cent).

Colour stereotypes were very much in force, with 26 per cent of girls favouring pink versus one per cent of blue. Boys, meanwhile, preferred a red car with 28 per cent of the vote compared with 23 per cent for girls. 

White – the most popular new car colour according to SMMT sales data – scored only two per cent of the vote, suggesting parents tend to have the final say.

54 per cent of children said there dad was a better driver, but mums scored 55 per cent when it came to who they preferred to drop them off at school. Unsurprisingly, 79 per cent of men and women said they believed they were the better driver.

The fruit of your loins influenced other areas including the level of comfort (13 per cent), size (12 per cent), style and design (12 per cent), entertainment system (9 per cent), safety (9 per cent) and ‘cool’ factor (6 per cent). 

Parents were most concerned about boot space and number of seats (25 per cent), followed by how comfortable the car is (23 per cent) and how reliable (19 per cent). Infotainment systems, something being pushed heavily by car manufacturers, was only considered important by two per cent.

Children and their more vivid imaginations were more interested in buttons for a turbo, ejector seats, flame-filled exhausts and, to the annoyance of parents, entertainment systems. 

Nathan Coe of Auto Trader said: “A substantial amount of research has been done looking at how the decision of the car buyer can be influenced and at what stage in the buying journey. 

“But few have really considered the role that children play, or the influence of pester power. If one of the kids doesn’t like the shape or colour of your next car, or it doesn’t come with plug-in for an i-Pad, then you’d better be prepared for some serious pestering!” 

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