CarGurus research sheds light on car buying concerns after lockdown
- CarGurus Sentiment Study highlights continued buying demand after dealers reopen
- Sales may be lagging but not lost, as three quarters of car buyers delaying their purchase are still actively researching
- Greater demand for financing deals with some buyers less confident in their financial situation, though many are saving up money
- More than a third of car buyers expect to use their car more than before the pandemic
- The latest CarGurus Consumer Sentiment Study can be downloaded here
CarGurus has released its latest COVID-19 Sentiment Study, revealing the continued impact of the pandemic on the concerns, habits and hopes of UK car buyers.
Among the most significant findings, the new study suggests that while sales have lagged since dealerships reopened on 1st June, there remains overwhelming interest in purchasing, as buyers begin to regain their confidence
CarGurus, the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK*, followed up on its April study by surveying an additional 1,104 car buyers in June to help understand and track shifts in their habits and sentiments toward car buying during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is some cause for optimism among dealers, with the number of car buyers delaying their car purchases decreasing from 87% in April to 77% in June, while only 2% of those who planned to buy this year before the pandemic have delayed their purchase indefinitely.
Consistent with sentiment in April, most current prospective buyers (76%) would prefer to use contactless services like virtual dealer appointments, at-home test drives, or home delivery.
Many (43%) car buyers are less confident in their ability to afford a vehicle purchase as a result of COVID-19, creating greater demand for financing deals; before the pandemic, 40% of car buyers planned to finance their purchase, now 51% plan to or already did.
Yet that confidence could soon return, with 27% of respondents saying they're saving more than usual and 40% spending less on experiences; both of which could ease budgeting for significant purchases like cars.
The survey suggests that travel habits could dramatically change consumer demand over the coming months too. More than two thirds (34%) of car buyers said they expect to use their vehicle more going forward, meaning that cars are becoming even more vital to daily life.
Madison Gross, Director of Consumer Insights at CarGurus, commented: "With the vast majority of buyers still researching, and almost all expecting to follow through on pre-pandemic purchase plans within the next year, it's more likely that we will see them dip back into the car market, particularly as vehicles become even more important to their daily life.
"It is also clear that buyers are even more open to researching and interacting with dealers online, and dealers that can pivot quickly to contactless services will be in the best position going forward."
To learn more about changing consumer sentiment during this unprecedented time, download the full CarGurus COVID-19 Sentiment Study.
*CarGurus is the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020 (Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, Gumtree.com)
For further information, please contact:
James Drake at CarGurus – UKPR@CarGurus.com / 0208 541 3434 / +44 07809 657178
How CarGurus Works:
CarGurus helps car shoppers search local car listings and quickly find great deals from top rated dealers. Every day, the company analyses millions of data points on hundreds of thousands of UK car listings to calculate each car's Instant Market Value (IMV) or fair retail price. This data is used in combination with dealership ratings from other shoppers to rank and rate available cars results based on the quality of the deal: Great, Good, Fair, High or Overpriced. The site also provides transparency on how long the car has been on the forecourt and if it's had a price drop. Consumers can contact dealers directly.
Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert (also a co-founder of TripAdvisor), CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of cars. The company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top rated dealers. CarGurus is the most visited automotive shopping site in the U.S. (source: Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total Audience, Q1 2020, U.S. (Competitive set: CarGurus.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, TrueCar.com)). CarGurus launched in the UK in 2015 and is the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020 (Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, Gumtree.com). In 2019, CarGurus acquired UK-based PistonHeads.com, which it operates as an independent brand. In addition to the United Kingdom and the United States, CarGurus also operates an online marketplace in Canada.
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