Only half of prospective car buyers would choose to buy or finance their vehicle entirely online if the offered the opportunity, a survey from iVendi has found.

A higher percentage, around 56%, of consumers surveyed said they would be “confident” in going through an entirely online retail process,  indicating how unfamiliarity with the experience might not always be the main motivator in sticking to the offline journey.

Some 87% of car buyers said a visit to a showroom was still an important part of the journey, and retailers such as dealers ranked as the first choice to look for a new car.

Richard Tavernor, iVendi chief operating officer, said: “The mixed picture presented by these answers underlines something that iVendi has been saying for a long time – that the retail motor journey should present online and showroom choices at every step of the process and that consumers must be able to freely switch between the two.

“In a sense, consumers want everything. They want to be able to have complete trust
and convenience in the online process but also, understandably, be able to touch and
drive the car they are considering buying in the flesh.

“However, there are some further interesting figures to be found by drilling down the findings. A sizeable minority – 15% – clearly don’t enjoy visiting a car dealership. It could be that these people represent the size of the purely online motor retail market.”