Mumsnet extends brand to car advice

Mumsnet is extending its brand into car recommendations, after a survey it conducted revealed that the majority of its members favour peer-to-peer recommendations over adverts, dealerships and celebrity endorsements when purchasing a family car.

Mumsnet Logo

The parenting forum has teamed up with buyers guide What Car? To launch reviews portal Mumsnet Cars today (17 July). It features user-generated reviews for parents looking to purchase a family car as well as expert advice on buying, selling and running a vehicle.

Additionally, the service will also include a tool to calculate the value of a used car, with all content being hosted on a separate section of the site.

The parenting club says the portal aims to act as a “one stop for parents” thinking about switching to more practical cars, a move that comes after a survey of 1340 car owners on the site revealed that 77% said that car ads all seemed the same.

Justine Roberts, CEO and co-founder of Mumsnet, says: “When it comes to buying cars, we know that priorities change once people start a family and that parents are looking for safe, economical and practical cars without the hard sell.

Roberts says: “80% of our users seek advice or read reviews on Mumsnet when they are planning to buy a child-related product, and judging from the number of car discussions on the site there’s a clear need for similar advice when it comes to cars.

The survey, which was conducted between 26 March and 19 April 2012, also revealed:

  • More than two thirds (67%) of respondents would be influenced by reading a positive review online, in a magazine or through hearing it from other users.
  • Over three quarters (77%) said that a recommendation from a friend or a relation would be influential.
  • 48% of users said that they would not trust any celebrity recommendation, despite a list including Kylie Minogue, Jeremy Clarkson and David Cameron.
  • Nearly half (46%) of participants said that car dealership sales people are not honest, and only 25% felt that the advice given at dealerships is reliable.

Last month, Mumsnet launched a new “social shopping” service where members can see the products or brands that other users are recommending to each other and click through to purchase them.

Mumsnet has been sensitive about commercial arrangements in the past and there is still discussion on the site about the suitability of featured products and marketing.

The site, which hosts product reviews and advice posted by mums, generates revenues from brands seeking advice on new products and advertising. The tie-up with What Car? Marks the company’s attempt to extend this strategy to car marques looking to target parents with targeted offers online.

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