Press release

Auto Trader points to 15 million fewer retailer visits since 2010

Average number of forecourt visits fall from 4.4 to 2.2, from 2010 – 2014.

  • Single site visit is increasingly the norm: buyers arrive following decisions made online
  • Steps to reduce ‘market friction’ in the online space are key to bringing more buyers and sellers together, says Auto Trader

The number of visits made by car buyers to retailer forecourts could have fallen by as many as 15 million in the last four years. That means 15 million fewer opportunities to engage with customers in showrooms every year and more buyers arriving on site having already made a decision online about which car to buy. It’s a trend that is likely to continue in the years ahead, Auto Trader asserts today.

In 2010 buyers visited 4.4 physical sites en route to their next car. Last year, the average was just 2.2, according to figures taken from the Annual Buyer Behaviour Survey undertaken for Auto Trader by GfK1. With roughly seven million used car transactions in both 2010 and in 2014 this translates to a drop from 31 million forecourt visits in 2010 to 15.4 million last year.

The numbers contrast with www.autotrader.co.uk visits which have more than doubled. There are now around 40 million each month compared with 17 million in 2010. Trade solutions director at Auto Trader, Tim Peake says: “that as more and more buyers move online, taking steps to reduce ‘friction’ in the marketplace is key to bringing buyers and sellers together.

“Today consumers operate online because they feel more in control,” he continues, “by the time they make the journey to a physical forecourt, most will have researched extensively: they will know exactly what car they want, and a lot about the retailer from which they wish to buy.

“Of course retailers have to think and lead online, but as the country’s largest online marketplace we have to take steps to smooth the journey too. An important recent step forward has been the launch of our consumer valuations’ tool which is now being used to make a million valuations every month.

“What we have done is to simplify what consumers were already doing onsite with a tool powered by comprehensive retail price data. There’s no longer any need to find equivalent models on site and make a best guesstimate of a car’s part exchange or retail value. Now they can arrive at an informed valuation that then forms the basis of a more constructive discussion with a retailer.

“Given the availability of information to consumers online, the competitiveness of the market and dynamism of retail pricing, live market data has to be the starting point for consumer valuations, but also for our dealers in powering products like Auto Trader i-Control.”

Auto Trader is looking at other areas to smooth the consumer online journey and connect buyers and sellers effortlessly. These include vehicle provenance checks, finance support and insurance partnerships

 For all trade media enquiries, please contact:

Nigel Wonnacott, PR Director at JJ Marketing, on 07802 483 971 or nigel.wonnacott@jjmarketing.co.uk

Hard to believe it's been a month already since the #ATAwards Congratulations again to all of our amazing winners & finalists, truly setting the bar for the whole industry. Just in case your memory of the big day's a little blurry 🍾🥂...this should help! https://t.co/0lzce9KP1D https://t.co/M6WsOJUY09
We’re back on TV throughout September. We’ll be educating buyers about dealer finance and promoting Auto Trader as the perfect destination for their next car. Don't miss out, make sure your ads include finance options https://t.co/dQ7BVlmX6t https://t.co/YqMciTF2qH
According to the @SMMT this morning, the 'UK used car market is in good health with more than 2 million sales in Q2'. For the full Q2 used car transactions results, including the top 10 most popular models, please visit: https://t.co/LzZvQDtPv0 https://t.co/Ys84hVtkVH
If you’re a franchise retailer selling brand new cars, we’ve got an exciting new solution designed to help reduce the need to pre-reg. Best of all, it’s free of charge until 2019. To find out more, watch this short webinar, available on demand now. https://t.co/FeUgwgsrTf https://t.co/uUtUdlQaog
If you’re a franchise retailer selling brand new cars, we’ve got an exciting new new solution to help reduce the need for pre-reg. Best of all, it’s free of charge until 2019. To find out more, watch this short webinar, available on demand now. https://t.co/FeUgwgsrTf https://t.co/Q9u1A4IbEi
Earlier this year, @RedlineCarsUK released the findings of its Customer & Follower Poll 2017. The results offer a fascinating look at the preferences, influences & buying behaviours of 600 of their customers. Invaluable insight & definitely worth a look! https://t.co/dRgz7PvlIl https://t.co/AWfH5zEXQD
Our bikes team has been busy working on this year's Auto Trader Best Bike Awards with the help of the brilliant @AndrewShim...we can't wait to find out all the winners next week. Stay tuned!🏆🏆🏆 https://t.co/9YNsBAA5U0
Despite female car ownership reaching a record 11.8 million in 2017, 13% of women find the in-store experience uncomfortable & 94% don’t trust car dealerships. Why? Our study found a lack of gender diversity was the key contributing factor. Let's work together #diveristyinauto https://t.co/tJzY7UvrVt
If you missed Tuesday's @AutoRetail #ARNLive webinar with Andy Bruce (@LookersGroup), Dale Wyatt (@SuzukiCarsUK) & Naomi Hahn discussing the implications of WLTP, the market outlook & best practice, don't worry as it's now available 'on-demand'. Enjoy! https://t.co/iHYwXKeFNa https://t.co/C4bWBIRH2u
We're all set in the green room for this morning's @AutoRetail #ARNLive at 9am. Remember you can ask our panel - Andy Bruce, Dale Wyatt and Naomi Hahn - any questions you may have either on Twitter or through your webinar platform. Log on here https://t.co/iHYwXKeFNa https://t.co/LLVk4f7SH7

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience