Car buyers could save up to £10,000 on their next car just by extending their search, according to new data.
Despite being keen to find the best price for a new set of wheels, many drivers are reluctant to venture far from home, potentially costing them thousands.
A study by finance provider Admiral found that drivers travel on average just 13 mile from home when buying a new car but by extending their search to a more arduous 200 miles could save them as much as £9,778.
It also found that more than one in 10 bought on “impulse” without carrying out any research.
To determine the potential savings the researchers searched for a petrol Audi A3, manual, registered after 2012 and no more than 60,000 miles on the clock. They discovered savings of between £1,130 and £9,778.
Buyers in Newcastle could find the biggest savings by extending their search. The average price within 20 miles of the city centre was £17,268, but dropped to £7,489 by extending the search radius to 200 miles, meaning a potential saving of £9,778 equivalent to a 57 per cent discount.
Car buyers in Cardiff, Glasgow and Southampton could also see savings of 50 per cent or more, by purchasing a car up to 200 miles from home rather than within a 20-mile radius, with average savings of between £9,433 and £7,478.
Savings for travelling up to 200 miles
City Avg price within 20 miles of city centre Avg price within 200 miles Saving % difference Newcastle £17,268 £7,489 £9,778 -57% Cardiff £16,872 £7,440 £9,433 -56% Glasgow £15,976 £8,063 £7,913 -50% Southampton £14,739 £7,262 £7,478 -51% Bristol £13,937 £7,387 £6,550 -47% Birmingham £13,151 £7,362 £5,789 -44% Manchester £10,624 £7,077 £3,547 -33% London £9,080 £7,314 £1,767 -19%
Even stretching to 100 miles and was enough to knock more than £8,000 off the average asking price of the sample A3, thanks to a larger number of cars for sale as well as a broader spread of ages and conditions.
Drivers in London saw the smallest savings from stretching their search, but could still shave £1,767 off by extending their search.
Reluctant to travel
Despite the potential savings, the study found that only 13 per cent of drivers would even consider travelling more than 100 miles from home to find their dream car and less than half (40 per cent) would do so, even if it meant saving 10 per cent of the price.
Scott Cargill, CEO of Admiral Car Finance, said: “Purchasing a car further from home might require a bit more time spent on research than just popping to your nearest car dealer, and usually requires the cost of a longer journey to collect the car, but we’ve found the savings that could be made far outweigh any additional costs on petrol or a train journey to get the keys.”
The study also found that 14 per cent of people admitted to buying a car on the day they visited a garage with no prior research at all. Such impulse buying not only means they risk paying over the odds for their car but could be caught out by hidden problems.