• Strangest customer questions included whether a coffin can fit in the back of a Ford Mondeo and whether the dealer would take an animal as payment
  • Dealers reveal unrealistic requests they get over payment terms and delivery options
  • CarGurus surveyed thousands of its UK used car dealers to find out the peculiar foibles of British car buyers

London, UK, 1st October 2019 – Used car dealers across the UK have revealed the often strange – and sometimes downright bizarre – requests they have received from customers
Among the oddest was a customer who wanted to take a car home to check if his dog liked it before he committed to buy, while one consumer wanted to know if he’d be able to fit a coffin in the back of a Ford Mondeo.

CarGurus, the fastest growing automotive shopping site in the UK among its nearest competitors*, which was founded by TripAdvisor co-founder Langley Steinert, surveyed thousands of used car dealers in its UK network to find the strangest questions asked on the forecourt.

While the survey results show a common theme of buyers asking questions around price, and payment terms, CarGurus has compiled a list of the ten weirdest questions asked by consumers before they decided whether to buy a car.

The strangest questions asked by used car buyers:

  1. Will a coffin fit in the back of a Ford Mondeo?
  2. Can I take the car home to see if my dog likes it?
  3. Can you make this left-hand drive?
  4. Would you take animals / property as payment?
  5. Can I check the chassis number to see if it’s lucky?
  6. Can I take my 80-year-old wife for a test drive to scare her?
  7. Can you fit it with a radio and tape deck?
  8. Can you deliver it to Australia?
  9. Can you put the seats down so I can see if I can sleep in the back?
  10. Can you fill it with balloons and put a bow on it?

Also included in the results was a plethora of customers who were overly concerned about fitting sometimes odd possessions in the car; these included a tuba, a long bow and arrow, a double bass and one optimistic buyer was keen to find out if he could install his baby’s child car seat on the rear shelf of a 2 seat mid-engine Toyota MR2 sports car.

While the most common questions fielded by dealers are typically about more conventional things; whether or not the car has a full-service history, what the dealer’s ‘best price’ is, or how long the used car has been on the market for – 31 days on average according to CarGurus - but some customers take things much further.

Several dealers reported being asked whether a car could be taken for months at a time without payment as an extended test drive, after which the buyer would decide whether or not to purchase.

Similarly, many dealers are often asked if payment for a car can be delayed, or if they can take a vehicle off the market for up to six months to allow the customer to raise the cash.

Others report being asked to transport cars hundreds of miles away so that the customer can view it in person and it’s not uncommon for used car dealers to be asked to deliver cars as far away as Australia, Malta and Nigeria.

Chris Knapman, Editor of CarGurus, said: “When searching for and purchasing a car it’s important to know it’ll meet your requirements – however unusual they might be. Asking questions is therefore a crucial part of the buying process, and something dealers fully expect when a consumer makes contact, whether it’s in the showroom or online via CarGurus.

“By factoring dealer reviews into how we rank search results, CarGurus is able to easily highlight dealerships that go above and beyond when it comes to keeping customers happy – even if they do draw the line at taking animals as part-payment.”

Visit CarGurus at www.cargurus.co.uk, read the latest reviews, tips and advice on the UK blog and on the UK YouTube channel.


For further information, please contact:
James Drake at CarGurus – UKPR@CarGurus.com / 0208 541 3434 / +44 07809 657178

*CarGurus is the fastest growing auto shopping site in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q2 2018 to Q2 2019 (Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes Cargurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, Pistonheads.com, Gumtree.com)

About the research

Reflects responses to surveys distributed by CarGurus to all used car dealers in its UK network.
How CarGurus Works:
CarGurus helps car shoppers search local car listings and quickly find great deals from top-rated dealers. Every day, the company analyses millions of data points on hundreds of thousands of UK car listings to calculate each car’s Instant Market Value (IMV) or fair retail price. This data is used in combination with dealership ratings from other shoppers to rank and rate available cars results based on the quality of the deal: Great, Good, Fair, High or Overpriced. The site also provides transparency on how long the car has been on the forecourt and if it’s had a price drop. Consumers can contact dealers directly.

About CarGurus:

Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert (also a co-founder of TripAdvisor), CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of cars. The company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus is the most visited automotive shopping site in the U.S. (source: Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total Audience, Q2 2019, U.S. (Competitive set: CarGurus.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, TrueCar.com)). CarGurus launched in the UK in 2015 and is the fastest growing auto shopping site in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q2 2018 to Q2 2019 (source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes Cargurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, Pistonheads.com, and Gumtree.com). In 2019, CarGurus acquired UK-based PistonHeads.com, which it operates as an independent brand. In addition to the United Kingdom and the United States, CarGurus operates online marketplaces in Canada, Germany, Italy and Spain.

CarGurus® is a registered trademark of CarGurus, Inc. All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

To learn more about CarGurus visit www.cargurus.co.uk.
© 2019 CarGurus, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

James Drake