Press release

Women and younger buyers need more help to find their next car

52% of all buyers know the exact make and model they want before searching for their next used car: 48% are undecided.

  • Of the undecided buyers, 27% have no idea of make or model, 6% have chosen only the make and 15% say they begin by short-listing options
  • More women (32%) than men (21%) begin the process with a blank sheet of paper

Recent research from Auto Trader’s Buyer Behaviour Study undertaken by GfK1 suggests that nearly half of all buyers begin the search for their next used car unclear on the make and model they want. The research revealed that 48% were undecided compared with 52% of buyers who approached the process with a clear purchase intention.

When broken down by age and gender, the research suggests more women and young people need support to narrow down options. 32% of women said they had no idea of make and model at the outset, compared with 21% of men. Younger people were also more likely to start with a blank sheet of paper: 36% of people aged 17-24 did not know the make and model, compared with just one in four of the over 45s.

Each year there are around seven million used car transactions and a further 2.4 million new car sales. The research findings therefore suggest that more than 2.5 million buyers could benefit from online search pathways that help them find the right car more easily.

Auto Trader’s Market Research Director, Nick King explained: “Today consumers make decisions online because it’s easy and they feel more in control. By the time they make the journey to a physical forecourt, most will have researched extensively: they will know exactly what car they want, how much they should be paying for it, and a lot about the retailer from which they wish to buy.

“But it’s also clear that many need support in taking their first steps. We have to make it as easy as possible for both the committed petrol head, but also the nervous novice, to narrow down choices at the start of their journey – and then connect them quickly with the right car and the right dealer.”

Auto Trader has recently taken steps to improve search filters on its site, making them more relevant and granular. That means buyers with a model in mind are able to hone-in on selections more quickly.

But for less confident buyers, there’s a new search pathway that starts by asking about lifestyle needs. It assumes no expertise on the part of the searcher and begins with the premise that things like ‘four seats’ and ‘low mpg’ will be more helpful, than expecting a selection by brand, make or model. Side-by-side model comparisons are then presented on screen to support research and help narrow down choices.

Auto Trader will report further findings from the Annual Buyer Behaviour Study in the weeks to come.

For all trade media enquiries, please contact:

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

25 hours later &the brilliant #TeamAutoTrader reached Croatia for @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen. Congratulations guys & massive well done to everyone involved in this great cause. If you'd like to donate & help raise funds for @BenSupport4Auto just visit: https://t.co/bOlmSpzI1N https://t.co/1SV5VQbUJy
It's been a long night for #TeamAutoTrader on the @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen as they try to get as far away as possible for @BenSupport4Auto. But where could they be...and where are they heading 🤔 Keep racking up those miles guys 🚙 https://t.co/p1RmNsY5Uj
And they're off! Border one done for #TeamAutoTrader in this year's @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen. Guesses welcome for where they're aiming for...🚗 https://t.co/PWU4eLTaCW
Good luck to everyone taking part in the @TrustFordUK #BreakoutForBen event tonight, especially the brilliant (& brave!) Auto Trader team. We can't wait to see how far everyone can get in 25 hours & how much is raised for the amazing @BenSupport4Auto https://t.co/T67MO99SYN
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With new car sales falling & Sept registrations under performing how do you maximise every opportunity to reach car buyers, generate incremental leads & win in your area of influence?Join our free #ATInsight webinar at 11am Friday to find out.Register here https://t.co/JV1hbWRBFK https://t.co/MTeDLB1fu3
T-minus 10 minutes until our free Market Report webinar, during which we'll be delving into the future of car retailing and the impact (and opportunities) changing consumer attitudes towards online purchase is and will have on the industry. Tune in here https://t.co/11QovV64xq https://t.co/tDQQ1TYR16
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To mark #WorldMentalHealthDay2019 today, @BenSupport4Auto has launched its first ever whitepaper on the topic - one of the biggest issues affecting the industry's workforce & could cost employers up to £1.2bn a year. Download your free copy here: https://t.co/gR9ahHXt8Z https://t.co/5VAoNDLYCt
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