New car customers are losing out on an average saving of Â£800 when purchasing a new motor because politeness prevents them from haggling with retailers, new research suggests.
Despite car dealers often expecting to knock down the price, one-in-seven (14%) car owners among the 1,000 surveyed in Norton Financeâ€™s study of consumer car buying habits said that they decide against negotiation, working out at Â£5.2bn in potential savings that drivers arenâ€™t getting â€“ with those who do haggle each getting an average of Â£819.33 off a purchase.
Of those who donâ€™t ask the seller to reduce the cost of a new vehicle, one in six (18%) believe itâ€™s â€˜impoliteâ€™ to try and get a bargain, while 39% are too shy to try and more than half (52%) say that they donâ€™t haggle because theyâ€™re â€˜uselessâ€™ at it.
Paul Stringer, managing director of Norton Finance, said: â€œWe know that most people canâ€™t resist a bargain, but clearly many of us are uncomfortable with negotiating down the price of a car.
â€œIt really is that very British attribute of feeling a bit awkward when talking about money and perhaps not wanting to be seen as an impolite person.â€
Norton Finance compared towns and cities across the UK when considering its findings in an effort to find out who were the UKâ€™s most confident and cautious hagglers when buying a car.
With 60% of people always on the prowl for a bargain, Wrexham came out on top, netting an average saving of Â£1,172.50 on their vehicles.
And 30% of hard-bargaining Wrexham residents said they have refused to leave a dealership before getting the deal they want.
Chelmsford finished the bottom of the pile, with just 28% of car-buyers seeking a negotiation over price, receiving an average reduction of Â£555.50.
Answering the question of which gender has the knack for nabbing a great deal, men were 10% more likely to haggle than women and more likely to get a better deal, with an average of Â£150 more saved per purchase.
However, men were more likely to make up the one-in-20 (6%) hagglers who managed to come away paying more than the asking price.
What do car sellers expect from a buyer? Norton Financeâ€™s survey revealed that 18% was the amount a seller would reduce the price by before it becomes too â€˜cheekyâ€™.
When considering a typical Â£18,000 vehicle it equates to a Â£3,240 saving, leaving plenty of haggling wiggle room.
Stringer said: â€œAt the end of the day, a car is a big purchase and the consumer is well within their rights to ask for a reduction in price â€“ the seller will be expecting it, so thereâ€™s no need to be embarrassed.
â€œYou shouldnâ€™t be persuaded to go with a cheaper model just because the one you want doesnâ€™t meet your budget â€“ try to get a saving on the car you really like.â€