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More than one in three used car and van purchases could happen entirely online, says research

Time 11:51 am, June 13, 2017

MORE than one in three used car and van purchases could potentially take place entirely online, according to research by iVendi.

The company, which develops e-commerce products, identified that 35 per cent out of a sample of 12,500 motor finance transactions were sold without any need for any dealer contact, needing no part-exchange, being sold at the vehicle’s windscreen price and using the dealer’s online finance.

Around one in 20 (5.6 per cent) were fundamentally completed entirely online already, as there was no e-mail, phone or physical contact with the dealer until the final step, when the car was collected or delivered, and with the customer following a structured, online buying process.


Chief executive James Tew, pictured, said: ‘There is some debate in the industry about whether many “genuine” online used car sales are taking place. This research helps to throw some much-needed light on to the subject.

‘Out of our sizeable sample of used car sales, we can see that already a number of customers are effectively completing the entire used car journey online and that many more could potentially do so.

‘These people are finding their own vehicle, they are not haggling and they don’t have a part-exchange. They are perhaps the easiest customers that a dealer could have – it is simply a matter of perhaps arranging a test drive and collection or delivery of the vehicle.


‘The only part of the process that isn’t taking place online – and which simply can’t – is the physical viewing of the vehicle. What tends to happen is that the purchase continues on a trust basis until the final step, when the customer sees the car or van and can assess that it meets the dealer’s description.’

Tew said that the research suggested that where dealers provided a complete online purchasing and financing journey, customers who were happy to buy a used car in this way would use their facilities.

He added, though, that what the research didn’t indicate was the percentage of customers who would ultimately consider buying a car in this way.

‘We have no research where we could definitively say that X per cent of used car customers will buy online, but we have shown these people exist in relatively large numbers. By not providing a comprehensive online offering with appropriate trust factors built in, you are encouraging them to shop at dealers that do.’

MORE: iVendi begins upgrading 4,500 dealers on to new motor finance tool

MORE: iVendi’s online finance checker enhanced to cover van dealers

MORE: More than 60 per cent of visits to dealer websites made via mobile devices, says iVendi

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.



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