Car buyers spend nearly eight hours online researching finds Carzone survey

Aside from a house, for most of us a car is one of the most significant purchases

Express Reporter

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Car buyers spend nearly eight hours online researching finds Carzone survey

Car buyers spend the best part of a working day researching what type of model they want to drive before spending their hard earned cash.

Before purchasing a car, the average person spends 7.59 hours researching online according to the new survey by online buy and sell car website Carzone. The research of 500 Irish adults examines the entire car buying process from research phase to end purchase.

According to the Carzone research, we spend a huge amount of time ‘doing our homework’ before we make a purchase. While the internet is the most popular research tool, an average of 3.32 hours is also spent face-to-face with the dealership or seller, and 2.63 hours are spent seeking advice from family and friends.

Car buyers spend almost twice as much time researching used cars online compared to new cars with an average 8.73 hours of online research going into a used car compared to 4.88 hours for a new vehicle.

Online behaviour

Online research is mostly used to investigate the cost of a car (82%), while two thirds (67%) use the internet to compare different car models. 65% go online to find cars for sale, while over a third (39%) use it to locate a local dealership.

With so many of us turning to the world-wide web as our first port of call, it’s no surprise that classified websites are a trusted source of information for shoppers. Of those that use these sites, Carzone is the most popular website with 72% of people logging on to check out the latest vehicles for sale.

What consumers want

Transparent pricing is the most important factor for Irish shoppers. A resounding 85% cite this as number one on their list when buying a car. The vehicle’s history is a close second with 83% saying they want this information before making a purchase, while 70% say car testimonials and reviews are an important part of their decision-making process. 80% say a timely response from a dealer or seller is key, indicating that dealers or sellers who respond quickly are more likely to make a sale.

Decisions Decisions

When planning a car purchase, over 4 in 10 (44%) say they would only consider buying a used car, while 1 in 5 (21%) say they would only buy a brand-new vehicle.

Almost half of all buyers (42%) have a shortlist of cars they are interested in purchasing, while 37% say they knew the make and model they wanted to buy and focused their search on that marque. Only 10% of those questioned say they had no idea of the type of car they wanted to buy when looking to purchase.

Eoin Lally is operation director at Carzone.

“Aside from a house, for most of us a car is one of the most significant purchases we make so it’s no surprise that people are spending a huge amount of time researching before deciding on what car to buy.

"The research shows that reviews, transparent pricing, timely responses and vehicle history all play an important role in the buying process so it’s important for brands and dealerships to take this into account when selling.

Key findings from the research were:

Before purchasing a car, the average person spends 7.59 hours researching online

3.32 hours are spent with the dealership or seller

Transparent pricing is the most important factor to shoppers, followed by vehicle history

Carzone is the most popular classified / review site for researching vehicles with 72% of respondents listing

Carzone as their first choice when researching vehicles

Over 4 in 10 say they would only consider buying a used car vs. 1 in 5 who would only consider a brand-new car

Almost half say they have a shortlist of car marques they want to buy

For further information and top tips on all things motoring, visit www.carzone.ie