Consumers Say They Enjoy Car Shopping, but Dislike the Buying Process
What do you enjoy most about buying a car? If you say you enjoy the shopping experience more, you’re among the majority of car buyers who feel the same way. CarEdge.com, an automotive research and vehicle listings marketplace, conducted a consumer sentiment study focusing on the vehicle shopping and buying process and found consumers looking to purchase a vehicle enjoy the shopping experience, but are not as happy with the traditional dealer purchasing process. In fact, they say it is one of their least favorite activities.
The study surveyed 321 consumers who visited CarEdge site’s research pages during February and March 2021. According to CarEdge’s press release, 77 percent of the site visitors consider themselves interested in cars or car enthusiasts, and 76 percent are actively shopping for a vehicle. Of those shopping, 41 percent intend to purchase within two to three weeks, and 31 percent said they intend to buy a vehicle within the next two to three months. Of these survey respondents, majority or 70 percent said they actually enjoy shopping for a vehicle.
Consumer sentiments, however, turned negative when price negotiations began. While 47 percent feel they purchased their vehicle at a fair price, 29 percent feel they were taken advantage of or had negative feelings towards the dealership. Sixty percent felt negotiating with the salesperson and the post-purchase paperwork were their least-favorite parts of the vehicle purchase process. In fact, more than half of the respondents (52%) said they would prefer having someone else negotiate for them or choose the vehicle for them.
Forty-four percent would prefer avoiding dealerships completely. An overwhelming majority to participants (88%) said they would find it helpful or would consider a vehicle recommendation from an independent third party.
Survey participants also appear to have little loyalty for a particular dealer, with less than one in five (18 percent) having a specific dealer that they consider their preferred resource for vehicle purchases, while 38 percent said they still have to search for a dealer they like.
Respondents’ comments also centered on a desire for more pricing transparency, less post-purchase up-sells, and fulfillment of advertised price.
Sadly, what should be a fun and exciting experience for consumers, continues to be a source of angst and stress. With almost half of respondents wishing to avoid dealerships completely, it is evident that there is an opportunity for dealerships to improve on their service.
As traditional dealerships adopt new business models, such as online and home-delivery purchasing options, they can improve the customer service and vehicle purchasing process. This would only yield better results, including more pleasant customer experiences and ultimately, repeat customers for them.
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