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Car buyers doing more research online before splashing the cash, finds new survey

  • Average number of car search websites used by buyers jumps from 3.5 to 4.2
  • 66% said seeing car advertised on multiple websites gave them reassurance
  • Motors polled 3,000 in-market car buyers

Time 8:49 am, January 19, 2024

Buyers are visiting more car search websites before they splash their cash, new research has found.

Motors polled 3,000 people and found that buyers visit an average of 4.2 car search websites before they make a purchase – up from 3.5 in 2021.

Two-thirds of buyers (66%) said seeing a car advertised on multiple websites encouraged them to make an enquiry or visit a dealership, compared to 60% in 2021.

Most buyers (84%) said they used multiple websites to double-check the car they are interested in is priced consistently across different platforms, while 82% appreciated being able to check the car’s details were the same.

Three-quarters (75%) said it gave them confidence that a specific car was genuinely for sale, while 71% said it makes specific cars stand out.

The latest Motors Digital Touchpoints Survey how found car search websites dominate a car buyer’s initial search and shortlisting stage, with visits to dealerships becoming more prevalent in the final decision making stage.

Motors marketing director, Lucy Tugby, said: ‘The cost of living crisis and low consumer confidence are encouraging buyers to search wider, with our research showing how seeing the same car advertised on multiple search platforms helps to reassure them before reaching out to dealers.

‘For many buyers purchasing a car in the current climate is a daunting prospect. That’s why for dealers it’s more important than ever to build trust and confidence online across multiple websites, something we have long advocated, while also being empathetic to the financial concerns of customers.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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