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November 24, 2021

Appetite for buying used cars online remains low, survey finds

By Chris Lemmon

The appetite for buying used cars online remains relatively low, with customers still seeking to speak to a person before a sale, a survey from MotoNovo Finance has found.

The research found that comfort with apps is not as strong as often assumed, while comfort around car buying through an app is much lower. Appetite for buying used cars online is still relatively low – although willingness to do so is improving for used vehicles. Additionally, expectations for the ability to complete the car buying journey online is declining.

While the research phase of a car purchase by consumers is dominated by online marketplaces and other online search tools, the position is reversed entirely in the final decision-making processes.

Dealers are dominant when it comes to the purchase point with online (led prominently by OEM websites) and private purchases, both a considerable way back in sharing a little under 25% of the market.

These were findings within MotoNovo Finance’s long-term research assessing consumers attitude to car buying, assessing how the car buying journey and research has evolved over the last year.

Karl Werner, managing director of MotoNovo Finance, said: “What we can see in action is the classic marketing AIDA mantra; Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, with dealers only performing well in the final Action stage. It presents a potential risk if online can bridge that final process hurdle.

“Digitally, dealers can help themselves by providing a more rounded consumer experience/journey that moves beyond the dominant focus on cars/vans and builds value in a broader offering and service/lifetime experience. A vital learning point over the last twenty months has to be that service and experience often outranks price and product alone.”

Earlier this year, Werner became the latest business leader to join the Automotive 30% Club. The 30% Club is the voluntary network of leaders from automotive companies in the UK who support greater inclusion in the industry.

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