Chicago (February 10, 2011) – Black or silver? Sedan or coupe? Compact or hatchback? Consumers have much to consider when they’re on the hunt for a new car. But, according to Mintel research, it’s a hassle-free sales environment that really gets shoppers’ motors running, as 27% of consumers who have bought a new vehicle in the past three years say they were influenced by the stress-free sales floor.

The test drive is by far the most powerful motivator of new vehicle purchase with 63% of respondents who got a new car in the last three years, though 37% were influenced by the dealer warranty. Meanwhile, 20% were swayed by the demeanor of the sales agent and 27% were wooed by the dealer trade-in amount.

” our findings suggest that consumers are looking for a tangible experience when they are browsing for a new car,”says Mark Guarino, senior analyst at Mintel. “These big-ticket purchases are always going to be influenced by financial aspects, but consumers still value service and don’t want to be pressured by a pushy or overbearing salesperson. “

Who – not what

Many factors at the dealership can influence a vehicle purchase, but there are also factors outside the showroom, as consumers often seek a second opinion from a friend or family member. Fifty-eight percent of individuals who purchased a car in the last three years say their spouse or partner helped them make the decision. Another 9% say they consulted their parents while 27% say they made the decision on their own.

“Most often, car buyers don’t operate alone,” adds Mark Guarino. “Spouses or loved ones are not only a trusted source of information, there is also the practical aspect too: the spouse or partner may likely also be driving the vehicle – and in some cases helping pay – so they have a say in which one their significant other purchases. “

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