CARGURUS SURVEY REVEALS MOST BRITISH CAR BUYERS ARE STILL IN THE MARKET DESPITE COVID-19
- Only 4% who were planning to buy this year before the pandemic have now delayed their plans indefinitely
- More than eight in ten who plan to buy in 2020 are researching their next car purchase now
- Nearly half of public transport and ride-sharing users expect to decrease or cease use when lockdown lifts
- Of those many expect to increase usage of current vehicle, purchase a replacement or buy an additional car
London, UK, 5th May 2020 – Most consumers in the market to purchase a car before the pandemic hit are still intending to do so after lockdown restrictions are lifted, according to a new study by CarGurus.
CarGurus, the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK*, released a new study on consumer sentiment during COVID-19, based on a survey of British consumers who either planned to purchase a vehicle before the pandemic hit, or those that are now planning on purchasing a vehicle this year.
Overall, the CarGurus COVID-19 UK Consumer Sentiment Study shows signs that pent up demand among UK car buyers could be a bright spot for the automotive sector as only 4% who were planning to buy this year before the pandemic have now delayed their plans indefinitely.
Many buyers are likely to return to the market sooner than expected with nearly a quarter (24%) wanting to purchase as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted, while 84% of those who plan to buy in 2020 are actively researching now.
While it’s clear there’s still appetite to buy, this does not mean that consumers are not concerned about the impact of the pandemic on buying. In fact, economic uncertainty (30%), dealership closures (32%) and believing their purchase is putting people at risk (26%) were cited as some of the barriers to buying right now. But for many, a vehicle purchase is essential: nearly two thirds of buyers (64%) reported that their vehicle purchase was necessary. There may also be a shift in consumers now looking to buy a used car or approved used car, as 37% of those who had initially planned to buy new now plan to buy used or approved used.
Social distancing practices may also be driving a change of attitude towards public transport and ride sharing, which may have a knock-on effect to car-buying habits.
Nearly half (48%) of those who previously used ride-sharing or taxi services expect to decrease or cease use of them when economic activity resumes. As a result, 53% of those expect to increase usage of their own car, while 52% expect to purchase a vehicle to replace their current vehicle or buy an additional car.
Respondents were also equally unsure about using public transport. Again, nearly half (44%) of those who previously used public transport expect to decrease or cease usage, and among them 32% expect to drive their car more, while 32% expect to purchase a vehicle to meet their transportation needs.
“There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on the automotive industry, but our study shows it’s not all bad news for the sector,” said Madison Gross, Director of Customer Insights at CarGurus. “Many consumers are still planning to buy a vehicle quickly when the lockdown ends. And in a strange twist, concerns about public transport and ride-sharing may actually drive new demand.”
The CarGurus COVID-19 Sentiment Study’s full findings can be downloaded here and any questions about the analysis can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019 (Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, PistonHeads.com, Gumtree.com).
For further information, please contact:
James Drake at CarGurus – UKPR@CarGurus.com / 0208 541 3434 / +44 07809 657178
In April 2020, CarGurus surveyed 501 buyers in the UK on their sentiments toward car shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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, Q4 2019, U.S. (Competitive set: CarGurus.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, TrueCar.com)). CarGurus launched in the UK in 2015 and is the fastest growing auto shopping site in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019 (source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, PistonHeads.com, and 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.
CarGurus® is a registered trademark of CarGurus, Inc. All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
To learn more about CarGurus visit www.cargurus.co.uk.
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