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New research shows car buyers still want face-to-face guidance

Time 12:49 pm, December 19, 2017

NEW research shows that 45 per cent of people want face-to-face guidance from a dealer during the car buying journey.

The study, of 2,030 adults commissioned by Black Horse car finance and undertaken by YouGov, shows this desire is strongest amongst over 55s (52 per cent) and 18-24 year olds (51 per cent).

This suggests the traditional role of the dealer will continue to play a pivotal part in the car buying journey despite customers enjoying increased digital options.


Those between 18 and 24 years old are most likely to value support in the showroom, as less than a third (32 per cent) would be comfortable buying a car without face-to-face guidance from a dealer.

The main element of car buying that people want face-to-face guidance with is the vehicle itself (67 per cent) and warranty or maintenance information (68 per cent), whilst 37 per cent want help on the finance options available.

Younger drivers are also most likely to want support with money matters, with a large proportion of those aged 18-24 (50 per cent) and 25-34 (44 per cent) saying they want a dealer to help with finance options. This compares with only 31 per cent of 45-54 year olds.

In further positive news for dealers, 80 per cent of drivers would be unlikely to buy a car without having test driven it first. This would suggest there will continue to be opportunities for dealers to talk to customers and answer their questions during the buying process.


This ongoing demand for dealership guidance demonstrates the continued importance of knowledge and expertise on the forecourt, and coincides with Black Horse reporting the number of dealers completing its online training courses has already doubled in 2017 to over 25,000.

Richard Jones, managing director of Black Horse said: ‘It’s clear that people still value the role of the car dealer and need the guidance they provide as part of the overall buying journey. This seems particularly true of the younger generation, especially in the area of finance.

‘Of course we recognise that digital has an important role to play in research and selection and that an integrated buying experience – one of both bricks and clicks – is the model of the future. So we need to put ourselves in the strongest possible position to deliver a great car buying experience.

‘A core element of this is demonstrating our professionalism by being able to answer questions, provide clear explanations and help customers understand their options so they make fully informed decisions on the most suitable choice for them. An emphasis on training will help further develop the already excellent levels of knowledge and expertise on forecourts across the UK.’

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Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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