Shopping for new car 'intimidating'

Going to a showroom to check out a new car can be an uncomfortable or intimidating experience for cost-conscious potential buyers, according to a study that dubs the feeling "Pretty Woman Syndrome".

Magazine and website Auto Trader says nearly three-quarters (74%) of the people it surveyed say they feel overwhelmed when they see a salesperson nearing them in new car showroom.

Nearly half (49%) said they would be much happier if left to browse by themselves, while the absence of price tags creates problems for 47% of potential car buyers.

According to Auto Trader the feeling is similar to the one depicted in the movie Pretty Woman, where the character of Julia Roberts is treated disdainfully by sales people in high-end stores.

More than one-third (37%) of the 1,000 people surveyed said they would be at greater ease if they knew more about the car they wanted to buy.

The magazine said buyers in north-east England were the most likely to feel intimated, with nearly half citing "perceived attitude of staff" as the reason for it.

Auto Trader group marketing director Matt Thompson said: "Car dealers across the nation have taken huge steps in making their showrooms friendly and approachable places.

"However, as our research shows, cost-conscious Brits remain intimidated by the experience of shopping in a high-value environment."

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