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

Tomorrow we’ll be announcing which retailers are #athighlyrated for 2020! Those that qualify will be receiving packs to promote their success to car buyers online and in their showrooms this week - stay tuned to find out if you’re highly rated! https://t.co/j2zk8dJSli
Missed this week's webinar with special guest @vertumotors? Well fear not - the whole webinar is now available on demand at https://t.co/A8vB2i49FU https://t.co/fpMbEkaRgB
Driving long distances? Well the best car for the job is the @UKVolkswagen Golf which scooped the Best Car for Long Distances award at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020. Find out what owners said at https://t.co/TAtdeRojpZ https://t.co/4Sj9ANaFK6
For those looking for a 7 seater you can do no better than the @VolvoCarUK #XC90. That's according to the 181,000 car owners who voted it the best 7 seater in this year's Auto Trader New Car Awards! https://t.co/M7t1X3Ic9S https://t.co/csJOtcU63N
Exactly one week ago @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/CLdSORmOV0
Exactly one week ago when @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/SAFHIczDhl
#Dacia have done it once again! The @daciauk Duster once again won the Best Value New Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020 - an award they also took home in 2019! https://t.co/vf00Z0g60W https://t.co/rn5qZX59Gh
We've seen a record number of #newcar and van #leads with new car retailers enjoying a massive 91% monthly increase in leads! Discover the latest new car data and how to drive even more leads as we see demand continue to spike now > https://t.co/8l2Mkx0ldn
Big thanks to everyone who joined today's webinar and of course to our guest speaker @vertumotors!
Reminder that next week we'll be launching #ATHighlyRated! Retailers who met the criteria will be receiving a pack next week to promote their achievements to consumers. https://t.co/UJgS71ytoP

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