Full of regret: thousands don’t like their car choice after all

Has your ‘pride and joy’ turned into a ‘shame and misery’? You’re not alone – thousands of drivers regret choosing their new car.

More than a third of drivers who own their car outright don’t like various aspects of the vehicle and most of them are considering changing it for something else, according to a new survey.

Thirty four per cent of the 2000 people questioned in the recent Churchill Expert research say they are unhappy with their choice of car. And when it comes to younger owners the results are even worse – 55% of 18 to 34 year olds admit to having big regrets about their new motor.

As potentially thousands of drivers take to the road every day in a car they wish they didn’t own, a massive three quarters (73%) of those asked, said they would consider changing their vehicle to find something they’re more happy with. Among the younger motorists group, the figure was 88%.

Finding out too late that their new car is too small is the most common regret, while having to fill up with diesel fuel was another massive remorse. Plenty of drivers simply realised that they didn't like the model of car they had chosen after all.

"Our latest findings show that a lot of people who purchased their car outright have regrets about certain aspects of the vehicle,” says Nicola Richmond, from Churchill Expert Flexible Fleet Partnerships. “In fact, most of those with regrets said that they would consider changing their car, given the issues they have had with the vehicle.”

The most frequent regrets are:

Car is too small (17%)

It uses diesel fuel (15%)

Don’t like the car model (15%)

Car’s lack of power (14%)

Its drive quality (13%)

Specification (colour, equipment) (12%)

Car is too big (12%)

It uses petrol (11%)


Two thirds of those questioned said they would prefer to properly trial a car before making the decision to buy – suggesting that most buyers don’t feel they were able to give their potential purchase enough research and testing.

Others said they would consider ‘vehicle subscription’ where you pay a flat monthly fee for the use of a car – typically from a month to three years – with the option to hand it back. A further third said they would like to find a better way to get experience of more modern technology, such as driver assistance and connectivity/entertainment features.

One other sensible way to avoid future disappointment before buying a new-to-you car is to have a history check carried out on it. MotorCheck’s £9.99 ‘Single Check’ investigates a vast array of topics uniquely related to each vehicle, such as whether it has had an engine replacement, a number plate change, has even been stolen, written off or used previously as a taxi.

This excellent reassurance when buying in the used market is one less thing to have regrets about – even if you later go off your car’s colour…