Press release

More than 7 in 10 turn to dealer websites when buying their next car

71% of used car buyers visit a dealer’s website before making their purchase, according to the latest buyer behaviour survey1 for the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace, Auto Trader.

Based on interviews with 1,300 customers, it revealed a higher proportion of digital forecourt visits for car supermarket customers, at 78% and independents at 75%. Meanwhile, the proportion visiting a franchised website was slightly lower at 61%.

When asked what information they look for in a dealer website, most buyers focus on stock. 57% said they visited a website to check the range of stock, 41% to check availability of a car for sale and 53% to check prices. One in five looked for practical information like opening hours and contact details while location maps were sought by 13% of visitors.

“The internet has fundamentally changed the way cars are bought and sold. Consumers do most of their research online when looking for their next car and this includes visiting dealer’s websites”, says Auto Trader’s Market Research Director Nick King. Consumers don’t feel the need to contact dealers as much either, they will simply turn up on a forecourt knowing exactly what they want to buy.”

But the research also revealed that dealer websites are increasingly used to build trust in the company from which they wish to buy, as Nick King explained: “today around one in ten buyers actively look for customer testimonials on a dealer website. A similar proportion seek background information on the dealership itself, such as how long it has been in business.”

Building trust is an important factor in the success of family-owned business Chrome Motors, based in Macclesfield. Managing director Danny Towns said their brand success had been built on an understanding that the industry has changed, that customers have higher expectations and are better informed than they have ever been in the past.

Towns says: “I would say that between 30 – 50% of our customers use our website to help build trust in our business. When they arrive on our forecourt and we talk to them about testimonials, they often tell us they’ve already seen them on our website. I would estimate that about half of our customers research us solely online before visiting in person and I’m very comfortable with that.

“Our website isn’t perfect yet, but it reflects our track record in supporting local community projects and reputation for providing excellence in customer service. Customers like that. Today we are all looking for the John Lewis-type experience. We want to feel warm and comfortable about doing business with a company. Reviews, testimonials and support for community projects helps us achieve this.”

In the last year Chrome Motors have reported a leap in business, and Danny Towns says this has come particularly from those in the local community. From an average of 50 – 60 sales per month last year, the site is now retailing between 90 – 100 cars every month.

Companies like Chrome Motors are blazing a trail for the independent sector. Retailers in the franchise and car supermarket sectors will also have the opportunity to shine at this year’s Auto Trader Click Awards on 2 July 2015.

The award for Best Retailer Digital Customer Experience will assess areas like website design, content and functionality. The winner will be chosen from the perspective of the car buyer, through a combination of consumer research and an expert panel. For more visit: http://autotraderclickawards.co.uk

For all trade media enquiries, please contact:

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

Thanks to everyone that played #ATFestive today. In case you weren't sure of the answer, here it is... We'll announce the winner on Monday along with the next question. Have a great weekend 🎅 https://t.co/sLZI6mTlKr
Day five of the #ATFestive giveaway. If you work in the UK automotive industry and fancy winning a £50 Amazon voucher for you or your team, just answer this question....you shouldn't have too far to go to find the answer 😉Good luck! 🎄🎄 https://t.co/wKLWluYym9
According to data from the Auto Trader Fastest Selling Index the @renault_uk Zoe was the UK's fastest selling used car in December AND 2019 as a whole. It marks the first time a pure #electricvehicle has taken the annual top spot. Read more here: https://t.co/UnmbW8lHEz https://t.co/XBRj8E9EsW
Thank you to everyone who's been playing #ATFestive this week. Yesterday's winner, who answered correctly that the @PeugeotUK 3008 was the Auto Trader New Car of the Year 2019 is....@chevroncars 🥳 Well done guys. Stay tuned for today's question https://t.co/elccev0yz3
And that's it for day four of #ATFestive. Here's the answer - it is of course the brilliant @PeugeotUK 3008. Thank you to everyone who played today. We'll reveal the winner tomorrow along with question 5 🎄 https://t.co/TcZCTDL5Xh
Day four of #ATFestive and your chance to scoop a £50 Amazon voucher for you or your team. If you work in the UK automotive industry, all you need to do is answer today's question by 5pm this evening. Good luck! 🎁🎁 https://t.co/PJiYCT6MrL
Congratulations to the team at @RobinLuscombe ...you've won yesterday's #ATFestive giveaway and a £50 Amazon voucher 🥳 Stay tuned for today's question 🎅 https://t.co/OPcrvnLtng
And that's it for another day of #ATFestive - here is the answer. Did you get it right? Thanks so much to everyone that's playing along. We'll be revealing the winner tomorrow, along with question 4. Good luck! 🎄🎁 https://t.co/sOnAmMEF1x
Day three of #ATFestive. If you work in the UK automotive industry then here's your chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher. Just answer the question below by 5pm. Good luck 🎄 https://t.co/TyJ26ehSDe
Congratulations to the team at @RMI_NFDA for answering yesterday's #ATFestive question correctly. A £50 Amazon voucher is on its way! Stay tuned for today's question 🎅🎁 https://t.co/n8Qp2Tla2a

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