Nearly half of all drivers find switching cars stressful – and 44% worry about getting the right price

September 11, 2023 by

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  • New carwow data reveals top car switching pain points, with ‘getting ripped off’ and ‘making the wrong decision’ topping the list
  • Nearly half of drivers find the process of buying or switching cars stressful, and cite ‘getting a fair price’ as their top priority when shopping for a new car
  • In light of the findings, and to coincide with the latest plate change, carwow launches new campaign fronted by automotive expert Mat Watson, highlighting the top car switching stresses

4 September 2023: New research by online car marketplace, carwow – exploring people’s views on switching cars – finds that nearly half (47%) of all motorists find selling a car stressful, while two in five (41%) feel the same about buying a car*.

With the government’s 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars and the expansion of several clean air zones across the country, many people could be considering switching their car much earlier than planned, bringing to the fore car switching stresses for a number of motorists.

In a study conducted by carwow earlier this year**, the majority (58%) said getting a fair price is the most important thing to them when changing cars. Perhaps surprisingly, this was ranked even more highly than getting a car that works for everyday family life (43%). It also ranked more important than upgrading to a better model (37%).

The main concerns people face in the process also reflect the top priority of price point, with nearly two in five (38%) people feeling concerned about being ripped off and one in three (36%) worried about facing hidden costs. More than two in five (43%) also admit they were concerned about making the wrong decision.

When thinking back to their last car buying experience, nearly two in three (63%) disliked something about the process – from not feeling certain they were getting a good price (16%) to the length of the process and having to negotiate (15%).

Sally Foote, UK Managing Director at carwow, said: “It’s a shame to see that so many people feel so stressed about buying or selling their car. Changing cars is one of the biggest financial commitments people can make outside of buying a home, but it should be exciting and full of possibility! Instead, motorists worry about hours of negotiations, wasted time and feeling ripped off.

“We think there’s a lot getting in the way of feeling ‘wow’ about the typical experience motorists have, whether that’s timewasters, no show’ers, tyre-kickers, jargon-users, the up-sellers, “Sorry it’s already sold” or the “how about I give you £3k less” negotiators.

“At carwow, we’re here to make the experience of changing your car pain free. September is often a big month for car buyers and sellers due to the plate change and we want to reassure motorists that there is another way – where they can have a huge breadth of choice and great prices on a new car, as well benefit from a simple and quick sale of their old car to our trusted dealer partners as well.”

Today, carwow launches Only Wow, a marketing campaign coinciding with the latest plate change, highlighting some well-known frustrations drivers have when changing cars – presented in a humorous and ridiculous way by Mat Watson – host of carwow’s YouTube channel which has an impressive 8.3 million subscribers.


About carwow

Carwow exists to give everyone car-confidence. With 3.5 million monthly users, we are a leading online car marketplace that sits uniquely in between customers, automotive brands and car dealers. Because we don’t hold any stock, we don’t mind which car consumers buy or sell, we’re here to help them make the right choice for them.

Since it was founded in 2013, carwow has:

  • Launched its ‘Sell My Car’ service where consumers can easily list their cars at a great price, while letting dealers buy used-car stock directly from the platform
  • Raised $157m from some of the most prestigious technology, marketplace and automotive investors, including Balderton Capital, Accel, Vitruvian Partners, Episode and Samos
  • Become one of the most influential names in consumer car media with the biggest automotive channel on YouTube with +8 million subscribers, fronted by Mat Watson
  • Created an award-winning service that customers love, with a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot from over 40,000 reviews
  • Opened offices in the UK, Germany, Spain and Portugal with a combined team of 370 people

For more information visit

* Censuswide study commissioned by carwow survey of 3,035 car owners between the age of 17-75 between 20.07.2023 – 21.08.2023
** Censuswide study commissioned by carwow of 1,308 UK drivers who own a car aged 17+ between 13.02.23 to 15.02.23