Georgia car-buyers concerned about gas mileage, monthly payments, survey finds

Consumers are most concerned with gas mileage and monthly payments when purchasing a vehicle in Georgia, according to a 2015 End-of-Year Consumer Survey conducted by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.

The survey shows 30 percent of respondents are considering buying a vehicle in 2016 and 79 percent of those potential buyers are more likely to finance it than pay cash.

When it comes to making their purchasing decision, 70 percent of respondents said gas mileage, 68 percent said monthly payments and 53 percent said consumer reviews influenced their choice. Other deciding factors include cost of operation, safety rating, vehicle history report and what the vehicle looks like.

“The majority of car buyers in our area seem to be more impulsive than informed,” Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union Centralized Lending Manager Ann Marie O’Brien said. “They tend to get caught up in the moment. When in the market for a vehicle, once you narrow down your selections, it’s a good idea to refer to consumer reviews and reports.”

Chuck Head, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Atlanta Postal Credit Union said about 60 percent of APCU members opt to buy used vehicles.

“The most important thing is, if you can’t afford a new vehicle, don’t buy one,” he said. “Buy a used vehicle instead. Then, you can get a loan for a lesser amount of time and when there’s some equity in the vehicle, plus whatever money you’ve managed to save, you can put it towards a new one. It’s crucial consumers don’t borrow the down payment and end up with two loans to pay.”

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