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More and more people are buying online before trying – and that includes cars

Time 10 months ago

Ten per cent of shoppers have bought a car online without seeing it first or going on a test drive and another 20 per cent will do so when they’re ready to buy.

That’s according to research commissioned by Vauxhall Motors, which says people are becoming increasingly happy to buy before trying.

Its poll of 2,000 UK adults showed that with non-essential retail poised to reopen in April, nearly half found shopping online less stressful than visiting shops.


Meanwhile, a whopping 90 per cent said they’d continue using the internet for most of their shopping, and more than 70 per cent felt they no longer had to worry about going from shop to shop, as things were so easily available online.

James Taylor, sales and marketing director at Vauxhall Motors, said: ‘There can be a lot of misconceptions around making bigger purchases online, but we are seeing that it’s becoming a much more normalised way of shopping.

‘Making expensive purchases doesn’t have to be nerve-racking.

‘The worst that can happen with an expensive online purchase is that you don’t like it – but just as with a pair of jeans you buy online, grace periods, returns and refunds are perfectly common.


‘At Vauxhall for example, we offer a 14-day money-back guarantee at our online showroom so customers have further peace of mind in buying their new car online.’

The OnePoll researchers found that people were happy to think about buying a vehicle online without seeing it in person first if it was from a trusted brand, if there were deals that differed from in-store, and if it was available on a user-friendly website.

All’s not lost for the physical dealership, though.

Taylor added: ‘For some people, in some circumstances you still can’t beat that physical aspect of browsing and purchasing items in store, which is why our showrooms remain a vital part of our business, too.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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