37% of car buying decisions influenced by kids

Get in touch

The success of pester power

A study carried out for Auto Trader in August, pooling the views of 1,000 parents and children aged between 5 and 11, looked at what parents and children looked for in their perfect family car, and to what extent children influenced their parents’ buying decision.

Findings pointed to a number of differences in the success of pester power, with more than three quarters of parents (78%) claiming that having kids forced them to buy a new car. And nearly four in ten (37%) say that children go on to influence decisions to buy their next car.

  • Safety, size & space and comfort rated top considerations for parents when looking for the ultimate family car
  • Dads are voted the better drivers
  • Batmobile tops children’s favourite superhero car

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 iPad, then you’d better be prepared for some serious pestering!”

It’s all about the colour

Overall, colour is the most likely area for successful persuasion by children (26% influenced their parents’ choice of colour).

Children are most likely to push for:

  • Red (28%),
  • Blue (21%),
  • Black (14%)
  • Pink (13%).

Perhaps unsurprisingly boys tend to favour red cars (28% v 23%) and girls preferred pink (26% v 1%). However, only 2% said they’d prefer a white car, despite white being the most popular new car colour, according to SMMT new car sales data.

Is mum or dad a better driver?

Overall, more children in the survey pointed to their dads (54%). However when it comes to dropping off at the school gates, mums rule the playground: 55% voted for them compared to 42% who said they’d prefer their Dad to drop them off. More than two thirds (79%) of parents would claim they are better drivers compared to their partner.

Favourite Superhero

When asked to consider their favourite superhero car, children went mad for the Batmobile. It topped the chart for all ages from 5 through to 11, other than for kids aged six years - they chose Lightning McQueen from the Cars films.

Children’s top ten wishlist

The study found that for children, their top ten wish list in a family car included glamour features like:

  1. TV Screens
  2. DVD Players
  3. Internet connection
  4. Video games
  5. Snack dispenser
  6. Toy storage cupboard
  7. Turbo button
  8. Steering wheel in back seat
  9. Ejector seat
  10. Flame emitting exhausts

Kids go for comfort, parents for safety

Children also influenced their parents in terms of the comfort (13%), size (12%), design (12%) and entertainment systems (9%) fitted to their new car. Safety however - top of the list of priorities for parents (27%) - was one area where parents tend to go it alone.

After safety, parents were most concerned with the size and space of the new car they were buying so they could get extra boot space or more seats (25%), how comfortable it would be (23%) and how reliable (19%) – entertainment systems were only considered important by 2% of parents.