New research has found that over a fifth (21%) of UK motorists have paid more for a vehicle than its true value.

The research*, carried out by automotive expert hpi, found paying over the odds for a car was highest amongst 18-24 year olds (30%) and nearly a fifth (17%) admitted rushing the purchase of their first car, as they were eager to get on the road and start driving.

Three quarters (74%) of drivers also confirmed they don’t know the key things to look out for when buying a second-hand car. This can leave buyers exposed to paying more for their car which may have been involved in accidents or even had its mileage tampered with, particularly when it’s a private sale.

25-34 year old motorists admitted to being the most likely to succumb to time pressures and buy without a proper valuation if they thought they would miss out on a bargain.

As part of the research, hpi has also identified the top ten best cars that will not only hold their valuation but are the cheapest to run, making them ideal for new drivers. This was calculated based on factors including price, insurance, fuel consumption, tax and emissions. The list is as follows:

  1. Suzuki Celerio Hatchback
  2. Dacia Sandero Diesel Hatchback
  3. Peugeot 108 Hatchback
  4. Dacia Logan MCV Diesel Estate
  5. Toyota Aygo Hatchback
  6. Citroen C1 Hatchback
  7. Nissan Micra Hatchback Special Edition
  8. Suzuki Swift Hatchback
  9. Nissan Note Hatchback Special Edition
  10. Seat Ibiza Sport Coupe

The research also found that 18% of motorists would carry out a valuation when buying privately but wouldn’t feel the need for a valuation when purchasing from a motor dealer, showing that consumer trust of reputable dealers remains strong. The majority of motor dealers will automatically provide a valuation and history check as part of the buying and selling process.

Philip Nothard, retail specialist at hpi said: “The Suzuki Celerio came out top in our best buy survey with a total cost of motoring of £7,099.95, ahead of the Dacia Sandero at £7,212 and the Peugeot 108 at £7,646. This includes everything from the cost of the vehicle itself and servicing and road tax to insurance and fuel costs.

“The key thing to remember when buying or selling a car is to always do your homework – if buying a used car privately, find out what you should be paying and do the necessary checks to find out how many keepers it has had, whether there is a mileage discrepancy, if it’s ever been stolen, involved in an accident or even written off. It really does pay to be thorough.”

hpi recently launched a vehicle valuations service giving consumers the ability to buy and sell cars with utmost confidence, offering them the inside view on the total cost of ownership of a vehicle during its lifespan along with precise depreciation figures.

The hpi valuations tool  is aimed at consumers buying and selling cars in the used car market and minimises the risks that can see consumers paying over the odds or not getting the best-asking price.

*independent research carried out amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults in November 2016