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Shutdown Deterring Car Sales, Survey Says

2:21 PM, Oct 14, 2013   |    comments
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Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

An interesting but unscientific new survey finds that car customers may be holding back their purchases until the federal government's partial shutdown ends.

The survey by Kelley Blue Book was conducted online by people who chose whether to participate. Thus, the results aren't based on a scientific sample or conducted at random like many that reach out to people by phone. So for what it's worth, here's what KBB found:

About 18% who say they are planning to buy a new car in the next six months say they are going to wait until the issues of the government shutdown or debt ceiling are resolved. The question drew 405 responses.

Another 64% say the issues have no impact on when they plan to buy, 11% are not familiar enough with the issues to say if it has impacted their decision and 7% are looking to buy sooner than if the twin crises hadn't surfacede. KBB says they figure it might be harder to obtain a new-car loan in the near future.

"The on-going government shutdown poses risk to the on-going recovery in new-vehicle sales," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, says in a statement.

Although it had been fairly widely reported along with other impacts, like the closing of national parks, 82% percent of 662 KBB.com visitors were unaware of the government shutdown has stopped the government primary safety arm, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from doing its duties. One of them is to issue safety recalls. Another is process consumers' safety complaints.

When it comes to the effects of the changing economy on car buying, about half of those partipating in the survey say they expect interest rates to increase slightly in the next year. Eight percent sayd they will go much higher and 20% predicted they won't change.

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