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Car buyers consider more models

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Car buyers are considering more models than ever before getting ready to take on a new car loan, according to a study recently released by J.D. Power and Associates. Car shoppers are now considering 3.3 cars on average versus 3.1 cars in 2012 and 2.9 cars in 2010.

In addition, fewer car shoppers buy a new car without cross-shopping other cars than in previous years. For the 2013 Avoider Study, just 21 percent of shoppers bought a new car without considering other car models compared with 26 percent in 2012 and 29 percent in 2010.

J.D. Power says the reason for the trend toward considering multiple cars before buying is due to improved reliability of cars across the auto industry. It says that the average number of problems per 100 vehicles after three years of ownership has declined to 132 problems in 2012 from 170 problems in 2009.

With car buyers considering more cars before deciding to buy, the reasons to avoid a certain car are no longer associated with reliability. The primary reason (33 percent) shoppers avoid a specific model is because they dislike the car's exterior design, while the second most common reason (19 percent) was that they did not like the car's interior look. Another 17 percent of shoppers didn't like the image the car portrays overall.

The results of the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Avoider Study are based on the responses of 31,000 owners who registered a new vehicle in May 2012 and were surveyed from August to October of last year. 2013 marks the 10th year of the study.

Do you look at more than one car before buying? Do you find that cars are more reliable these days?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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