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Insights into car buying behaviours and online search since the pandemic



- Online research amongst a sample of 2,000 decision making adults

- 100% would consider buying a used car

- Sole or joint decision maker(s) when buying a car

- Aged 18+, across the UK

- Geo-demographic quotas implemented to ensure data reflects the market

- Fieldwork ran from 1st to 6th June 2021

- Research undertaken by an independent research agency, Insight Advantage. June 2021


Our study identified 7 key insights into search behaviour and current car buying trends and attitudes.


Insight 1: The electric revolution is gathering momentum.

30% of car buyers are expecting their next car to be hybrid and 15% are expecting their next car to be electric.


Insight 2: When it comes to buying a used or nearly new car, only a minority feel very comfortable purchasing online without visiting a dealership.

Despite Covid-induced restrictions getting us into the habit of buying most things online, with used and nearly new car buying, the trend doesn't appear to be taking hold any time yet.


Insight 3: Car buying triggers pain points centered around finding the right car, the right dealer and price negotiation.

Our findings revealed that many buyers find the car buying process challenging, with more than 45% of buyers reporting they incur difficulty.


Insight 4: Since the pandemic, buyers are spending longer online researching their next used car purchase.

6 weeks is he average time now spent searching for a next used car.


Insight 5: Car buyers are using more search platforms than before the pandemic.

92% of used car buyers use 2 or more car search websites an increase of 3% since Covid.


Insight 6: The average number of car search and marketplace websites used has increased for both nearly new and used buyers.

3.5 for used cars (over 2 years old) and 3.7 for nearly new cars (under 2 years old).


Insight 7: When looking for their next used car, nearly all car buyers in our study said their search would include eBay Motor Group's network of sites.

97% would consider using one or more eBay Motor Group sites, that's an increase of 5% since the pandemic (97% compared to 92%).


Click here to download the full report

When we commissioned our first Digital Touchpoints
Study back in autumn 2019 to gain insights into the car
buying journey, the message was loud and clear.
Car buyers' reliance on multiple online resources
meant that dealers needed a search strategy based
around numerous touchpoints.
In June this year, partly to understand the impact
of the Covid crisis, we repeated the same research,
polling the views of 2000 buyers and compared
them with the 2019 survey.
Here we share the findings, showing how online use
has accelerated even further, with buyers spending
longer searching and using more platforms than before
the pandemic.