New-car dealerships are the leading source for late-model used-vehicles, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2000 'Used-Vehicle Market Assessment Study.'
Among the buyers polled in the study:
64 percent bought from franchise dealerships.
21 percent bought from used-car dealerships.
11 percent bought from private parties.
Chris Denove, a partner at Power and director of the study, said consumers prefer making late-model used-car purchases at a new-car dealership because that is where most late-model used vehicles are.
'When you talk about late-model used vehicles, dealerships are where the inventory is; many are lease returns,' Denove said.
Dealerships offer services
The study is based on the responses of more than 6,000 buyers of 1- to 5-year-old used vehicles. It was released in November.
Buyers also go to franchise dealerships because they have other services such as financing, trade-ins and used-vehicle certification, Denove said.
While private sellers make up roughly one in 10 of all sellers, consumers who purchased from them said they were more satisfied with the purchase than consumers who bought at new- or used-car dealerships.
Also, 15 percent of buyers surveyed said they intend to use a private seller for their next vehicle purchase. Private sellers are perceived to be more honest and have a greater knowledge of the vehicle's history, Denove said.
'There is a slight trend toward private sellers, and we expect that trend will grow, but private parties will never challenge the dealer as the primary source of sales,' he said.
While more consumers are aware of used-vehicle certification - 71 percent in the 2000 study compared with 55 percent in the 1999 study - Denove said he is concerned its meaning is becoming diluted: 'It is very possible that consumers will begin to gloss over language about certification the same way they gloss over language calling a vehicle a cream puff or a diamond.'