Survey: Quality most crucial component of car buying

When it comes to the most important factors consumers take into consideration when buying a car, quality takes priority, a new survey indicates.

According to a recent telephone survey conducted by automotive retailer CarMax, 45 percent of Americans who have purchased a car within the past year said the craftsmanship and overall quality of the vehicles played the biggest role in their car buying decisions. When a similar poll was conducted last year, 37 percent cited quality as the most crucial element.

"Choosing a vehicle that balances high quality with a fair price provides the value that consumers are looking for," said Tracy Hanson.

She added that this is why dealers often have their lineup of vehicles thoroughly inspected and reconditioned.

Meanwhile, price was the second-most important element that dictated whether people would buy, as 22 percent said it was the most influential aspect.

Because vehicles are a significant purchase, consumers may be able to finance one for a reasonable rate of interest, provided their credit scores are in good standing.

Safety, resale value and environmental factors were other significant components weighed by consumers, according to the survey.