Over half (55%) of people in Ireland who do not own a car are now considering buying one due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from Carzone, Ireland’s trusted motoring marketplace.
The research was carried out to examine car buyer behaviour during COVID-19 and how this pandemic will impact the car buying and selling journey. With car dealerships reopened and activity resuming in the Irish motoring industry, the results of this research offers a glimpse into the new normal of car buying, selling and browsing.
The Carzone Car Buyer Behaviour during COVID-19 report was compiled by an in-depth survey of over 1,400 people in Ireland in May 2020.
Buying and selling a car in a pandemic
According to the survey data, 55% of those who do not currently own a car are now considering buying one, and a further 28% say they are still looking to change car as soon as possible. Over a third (35%) state they will postpone buying a car until later in the year, while only 11% claim to have cancelled their search for a new car.
The research has found that car buyer’s attitudes to online transactions has evolved.
Over half (53%) of respondents say they would pay a deposit online for a car, and nearly a quarter (24%) say they would now pay in full for a car online - an increase from the last Carzone Motoring Report of 5% and 7% respectively.
As well as this, 57% would consider buying a car online and having it delivered to their home.
The research reveals certain online tools that would make Irish motorists feel more comfortable purchasing a car online, these include virtual car tours (61%), live chat interactions with dealers (53%), and online car finance applications (28%).
This research conducted by Carzone provides an insight into the concerns of consumers when it comes to buying or selling a car during these uncertain times. Encouragingly, over half (55%) say their car buying budget hasn’t been affected, 40% say their budget has decreased with 5% claiming it has increased.
The top financial concerns cited by respondents include uncertainties around car values, (46%), employment security (27%) and insurance costs (18%).
Car cleanliness and social interactions
The research shows a shift in expectations from dealerships when it comes to buying a car, for example, eight in ten (80%) of those surveyed would like their new car to be fully disinfected by the dealer on collection, 59% want an exterior cleanse on all contact points and 58% want an interior upholstery steam clean.
In fact, three quarters (75%) of car buyers are likely to buy a car if the seller has carried out a thorough sanitisation.
44% of potential buyers are still happy to visit car dealerships in-person once they are ready to complete a purchase, and a third (35%) say they will only visit a showroom once they have completed research online beforehand.
Commenting on the Car Buyer Behaviour during COVID-19 report, Karl Connolly, Audience Manager Carzone said:
“The Carzone Car Buying Behaviour during COVID-19 report investigates what the ‘new normal’ means for the motoring industry, and highlights the behavioural impacts the pandemic has on both car buyers and sellers.
“The data is encouraging for car sellers, with consideration high among those who don’t already own a car.
“Our research indicates that practices need to be evolved and we need to re-look at how we do business to better serve those looking to buy, sell and trade.”