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Used car buyers are spending over a week longer researching their next purchase

  • Buyers are taking longer to research EVs before splashing cash, says Motors
  • Low consumer confidence is also having an effect, firm said
  • New analysis comes from Motors’ latest survey which quizzed 3,000 buyers
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Time 7:01 am, January 28, 2024

Used car buyers are now taking over a week longer to research their next purchase, new analysis has found.

Buyers are doing the extra legwork due to there being more time needed to research electric vehicles and as a result of low consumer confidence, Motors found.

The used car platform quizzed 3,000 in-market buyers and revealed the results in its latest 2024 Digital Touchpoints Survey.


In it, it was revealed that the average buyer is spending eight days longer searching for their next car than they were in 2021, rising from 42 to 50 days.

Four in 10 active car searchers (42%) expect to spend at least six weeks searching for their next car, rising to almost half (47%) for buyers aged over 45 but dipping to 37% for those aged 25-44.

The survey also identified a variance in search times by fuel type.


Almost half (48%) of potential EV buyers expect to spend at least six weeks in the process, closely followed by 46% of hybrid buyers. Only 39% of ICE buyers expect to spend a similar length of time in the search journey.

Lucy Tugby, marketing director of Motors, said: ‘Clearly financial burdens and low consumer confidence are prompting buyers to spend much longer searching for cars, our research also shows how other factors are in play.

‘Buyers considering transitioning to EVs and hybrids face a more complex decision making process, as they weigh up the pros and cons of switching – and that all takes time. While last year’s stock shortages also undoubtedly added time to searches.

‘All these factors highlight the need for dealers to address the concerns of buyers by providing confidence in transparency, pricing, service and reputation. This needs to flow through their business from the initial advert to the in-store teams.

‘With consumers now choosing to use at least four car search websites, it is fundamental that dealers are highly visible online.’

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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