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Brits baffled by car jargon

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV badge

Terms such as PCH, range anxiety and supercharger leave seven in 10 people scratching their heads, according to a new survey.

In fact, almost a quarter (24 per cent) have even walked away from buying a new or used vehicle because they didn’t understand the salesperson’s terminology.

The study of 2,000 adults revealed 54 per cent don’t have a clue what a PHEV – plug-in hybrid electric vehicle – is, with 34 per cent feeling out of their depth when asked about anything other than petrol or diesel motors.

Only 24 per cent understand the term ‘brake horsepower’, while ‘fuel injection’ leaves 21 per cent of people bewildered.

It also emerged just under six in 10 adults said a lack of understanding of such phrases leaves them with less confidence when it comes to buying a used vehicle.

The research was carried out by CarStore, which has created an online car jargon buster to help equip buyers to make informed, unpressured decisions.

It also emerged that 74 per cent would take a friend who knows more about cars to a garage to look at vehicles they are considering buying.

Dad was the top choice for 25 per cent of those, followed by a brother (17 per cent) and mum (12 per cent).

Top 20 car terms Brits don’t understand

  1. PCH (personal contract hire)
  2. PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)
  3. EPS (electric power steering)
  4. PCP (personal contract purchase)
  5. A-pillar
  6. ISOFIX
  7. Range anxiety
  8. Differential
  9. HPI check
  10. Torque
  11. VIN (vehicle identification number)
  12. EV (electric vehicle)
  13. Understeer
  14. Supercharger
  15. Odometer
  16. Traction control
  17. Alternator
  18. Brake horsepower
  19. Wheelbase
  20. Catalytic converter

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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