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Drivers Reject Excess For Simplicity

Drivers Reject Excess For Simplicity

If you regularly read the motoring press then you’ll know that there has been more than a hint of a change in new and used car buying behaviour. We’ve alluded to it here on Motor Blogger a few times before but this seismic shift seems to be taking hold.

Motorists have had enough. No doubt it is driven by the cost of fuel and insurance and not helped one bit by European over-regulation, but drivers simply can’t hack the pain any longer. Sales of budget cars are on the up and up as buyers realise that they can do without many of the expensive extras appearing on cars today.

Coupled with the need to counter the rising costs of car ownership, there is also a burgeoning rebellion about the technology built into cars. Car makers have now excelled in making vehicles that are smart, safe and reliable and they have left themselves with nowhere to go. Their answer has been to start loading on the goodies.

We’ve been here before. Think about the rise of the Smartphone and all that comes with it. There is a movement away from this sort of complexity as phone users dig out old models because, really, all they want to do is talk, send texts and save a few quid. Obviously, business users can find a use for the many functions, but otherwise? All sorts of technology has been built and sold to us, nor because we want or need it, but because it can be done. This in turn fuels the geek mentality as people rush out to buy the latest thing – whether they need it or not!

So it is with cars. Manufacturers keen to sell more new cars are constantly adding luxury items. A new survey of motoring organisation members shows that a very large majority would be happy to do without electric parking brakes and electric seats, for example, if it saves them money. All these things make the cars more lardy and costly.

So, for beleaguered drivers everywhere, it is back to basics time. Out goes the fancy trim and incomprehensible ‘infotainment’ system and in comes small, frugal cars without all the chintz and leather. Sales of new city cars and their slightly bigger siblings have shot up exponentially and this trend is also being seen in the used car market as second-hand buyers reject luxury for convenient, simple motoring.

Clearly there will always be a market for fully loaded and luxurious cars. Not everybody is feeling the pinch but, as the Dacia is about to prove, people are seeking another way. There is even talk that the mighty Tata organisation is looking to perhaps build a version of its ridiculously cheap Nano for the European market. Refined it may not be but when it comes to a question of cheap transport or no transport at all you know which way the vote is going to go.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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6 Responses to “Drivers Reject Excess For Simplicity”

  1. Insure Daily says:

    Hi Geoff,

    Your comparison to smartphones is an excellent one, both phones and cars now do things for the sake of it. I think sticking to budget cars is sensible, they get you from A to B without all the fancy extras- that you don’t actually need!

    Mark @ Insure Daily

  2. We see this daily and within our business where the number of people making enquiries with ” general population ” cars is increasing.

    Not only are the scales tipping in favour of the more broader based vehicles, the amount of people making enquiries to have vehicle damage removed with the sole reasoning that they dont want to go through their insurance has shot up exponentially which again points at the direct correlation between car cost, maintenance and insurance costs.

    The reason I bring up insurance cost is that the Gender Directive has just been dropped and the cost of car ownership, in particularly for women is going to jump up sharply so the savvy manufacturers will have their Directive Friendly vehicles adorning all prominent advertising space for the desired and affected market.

    • Geoff says:

      You’re absolutely right. I’ve had damaged repaired in just that way. The Gender Directive does mean that women will pay more. Premiums for men allegedly should go down but don’t hold your breath. Geoff

  3. Geoff says:

    Thanks for your comment

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==