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Ruling the Roost - Kids Influence Family Car Choice

Its official. Kids really do rule the roost - when it comes to car choice at least. In a survey conducted by autotrader nearly 80% of parents claim that having children forced them to make a lifestyle change and buy a new car.

And nearly four in ten say that children then go on to further influence what car will be bought in future.

These were the key finding of research carried out and involved pooling the views of 1,000 parents and children aged between 5 and 11. The aims were to determine what parents and children looked for in their perfect family car – and to what extent children influenced their parents’ buying decision.

 “A substantial amount of research has been done looking at how the decision of the car buyer can be influenced and at what stage in the buying journey,” commented Nathan Coe of Auto Trader, “but few have really considered the role that children play, or the influence of pester power. If one of the kids doesn’t like the shape or colour of your next car, or it doesn’t come with plug-in for an i-Pad, then you’d better be prepared for some serious pestering!”

Findings pointed to a number of differences in the success of ‘pester power.’ More than half of parents who lived in London, for instance, said they were likely to be influenced by their children, compared with just a quarter in the North East. It also appears that Dads are more likely to be lobbied with 39% of dads saying they were open to being influenced compared with 33% of mums.

Children like to be involved in which colour to choose and are most likely to opt for red (28%), followed by blue (21%), black (14%) and pink (13%). Perhaps unsurprisingly boys tend to favour red cars (28% v 23%) and girls preferred pink (26% v 1%).  ​

For children on the fantasy wish list are gadgets such as turbo buttons, ejector seats and flame filled exhausts and when asked to choose their favourite superhero car, most voted  for the Batmobile. It was the favourite in the 5 to 11 age group, other than for kids aged six year - they chose Lightning McQueen from the Disney Cars’ films.

Coe concludes: “Car retailers are becoming more aware of the need to cater for children on the forecourt, both in terms of providing entertainment for them whilst their parents are looking at cars, and actively pointing out features that they would be interested in, like in-car entertainment systems. As the technical specifications on new cars continues to advance, kids will only become more interested in the car they are transported about in.”​​

By Tracey McBain