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'Careful lady owner' tops turn-off table

19 June 2007

  • New study shows used-car turn-off terms
  • 'Careful lady owner' is least-liked phrase
  • Car-buying terms have become cliches

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Fancy a lovely runner with PAS and ABS? Only one careful lady owner, too.

According to a YouGov poll for classified website craigslist.org, terms like these in car adverts are likely to turn prospective buyers away from your car.

Apparently, 'careful lady owner' is the worst phrase you can use in an advert. It's the most likely to deter buyers from looking at your car, and men find the term almost twice as big a sales turn-off as women.

Women find used-car abbreviations much more annoying, though. Terms such as ABS and PAS (which stand for anti-lock braking system and power-assisted steering) are an instant turn-off to prospective women buyers, because they don't always know what they stand for. Initials like these are the second-biggest turn-off for buyers overall.

Everybody is united in their loathing of hackneyed terms such as 'fully loaded' (meaning a car has lots of equipment) and 'lovely runner'.

Other phrases which repel buyers include 'no time-wasters' and 'first to see will buy', or 'genuine reason for sale' and 'priced to sell'.

What Car?'s used car editor Matt Sanger said: 'When advertising your car, just stick to the key facts. You're paying for every word, so use them wisely. If it's accurately described and priced right, your car will sell straight away.'

Top 10 used-car ad turn-offs
1. Careful lady owner
2. PAS, ABS (and other abbreviations you may not understand)
3. Fully loaded
4. No time-wasters
5. Lovely runner
6. First to see will buy
7. Genuine reason for sale
8. Priced to sell
9. Price £XXX, value £YYY
10. Baby forces sale (usually for sports cars)

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