When it comes to buying a used car, consumers are still looking for the in-person interactions that online purchases cannot provide, a survey from MotoNovo Finance has revealed.

The move to online for used car buying has eased in a post-lockdown environment and expectations of what can be done online have declined from last year.

While online is seen as the place people research their options and discover the vehicle that is of interest to them, the appetite to complete the purchase entirely online is low with consumers highlighting the importance of human interactions. Just 7% of respondents said they would commit to a used car purchase entirely online. However, expectations for the ability to complete the car buying journey online is declining, the survey found.

More findings showed that car-buying apps rated 13th out of 14 in comfort and engagement levels among consumers. The feedback pointed to the infrequent desire for this service, meaning people were not comfortable using such apps combined with a lack of functionality.

Karl Werner, managing director of MotoNovo, said: “Online clearly has a critical role in the car-buying journey, but very large, regardless of age, it is very evident from this research that the majority of people prefer to talk to a person about a used car purchase.

“This does not mean that dealers should ease up on digitisation, far from it; it is a critical part of customers’ discovery phase, but what it does highlight is the importance of high quality, tailored personal service.”

Earlier this month, 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.

“Having worked in automotive retailing and motor finance all my working life, I’m hugely pleased that one of my first actions as managing director of MotoNovo is to join the Automotive 30% Club,” said Werner. “This is an organisation that not only truly understands our market but also provides inspirational leadership and energy that will make a positive difference to our industry. I eagerly look forward to playing an active part to ensure I meet the objectives of the Club.”