Just 1% of 50+ drivers believe new cars are designed with them in mind, according to survey

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5th March 2020 15:36 - Automotive

Just 1% of 50+ drivers believe new cars are designed with them in mind: A poll of 6,500 drivers over the age of 50 has found that just 1% believe that the newest cars on the market are designed with the needs of older drivers in mind. 

The findings were part of a survey by Saga Insurance, which the company says show that car manufacturers are 'out of touch' with the largest demographic of car buyers. 

When asked about their top requirements when purchasing a new car, more than three-quarters (77%) said that 'reliability' was their main concern, followed by the 'price' of the vehicle, and then 'safety'. Technological features such as lane assist were desired by just 12% of respondents, with one driver saying that the electronics built into newer models make the experience of driving less enjoyable and ‘take away from the road feel’.

Much-missed features of older cars

The survey asked drivers which bygone features they would like to see reinstated, with ignition keys topping the list with three in ten in favour (30%).

In second place was a CD player (28%), followed by chrome plating (23%), hood ornaments (21%), wooden steering wheels (21%) and bench seats (14%). Other answers given included wooden body work (12%), car window winders (12%), front fenders (9%) and white wall tyres (8%). 

When considering the ‘look’ of vehicles, respondents said they preferred the design of cars from previous decades, with two-fifths believing that cars from the past had more personality compared to modern cars which can ‘look the same’. The 1960s was the most popular decade cited in terms of preferred car design, followed by the 70s and then the 50s. 

Although the over 50s make up more than 50% of new car buyers, almost two in five of the participants polled said they feel car manufacturers target drivers aged 35 - 44, while 29% thought they focussed on 24 - 34 year-olds when designing new cars.

Jeremy Taylor, the motoring editor of Saga Magazine, said: 

'While safety and reliability are key, for those of us that grew up in the heyday of design classics such as the Jaguar E-Type and Mini Cooper, today's modern gadgets are a poor substitute for beauty and a fun drive.'

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