How Do Future Auto Buyers Decide Where to Shop?

November 18, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Demographics & Audiences | Global & Regional | Industries | North America

YouGov Future Vehicle Purchase Destination Factors Nov2021

Although purchase intent for vehicles decreased during the pandemic, consumers around the world are still not ready to give up driving their personal vehicles. A recent survey from YouGov gives some insight into what car buyers are looking for when shopping for their future vehicles. 

While half of consumers surveyed say they drove less during the pandemic – and net driving intent (the difference between the share consumers who intend to use a personal vehicle more and those who intend to use them less) has decreased in places like the US (-7%), Great Britain (-9%) – globally, 6 in 10 (59%) say their need for a personal vehicle has remained the same, with about one-fifth (18%) saying their need has actually increased since the pandemic.

With the need for a personal vehicle still high, what factors are consumers considering when buying their next vehicle? Finding the best possible prices is one of the biggest considerations for determining where 6 in 10 (59% of) future vehicle buyers around the world will make their next purchase. This is even more of a factor in the US, where close to two-thirds (63%) cited it as important. This could also be why only 12% of future vehicle buyers around the world wish to avoid negotiations over price. That said, US respondents are considerably more interested in avoiding negotiating price (27%).

Even as many consumers have chosen to shop online more for goods and groceries during the pandemic, it appears they still prefer to purchase a vehicle in-person. More than half (51%) of global respondents say getting to experience a car in-person and test drive the vehicle is an important part of their buying experience, while 3 in 10 (28%) look forward to the ability to sit down with a sales associate.

In fact, the vast majority (84%) of current car owners say they purchased their last vehicle in-person. Fewer than one-fifth (16%) say they purchased their last car online, with 11% saying they did so through a dealership. Online car buying adoption has been especially slow in the US, where 91% say they purchased their last vehicle in-person.

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About the Data: Findings are based on a May survey of adults ages 18+ in 17 markets, with sample sizes varying from 250 to 1,488 for each market.


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