New research commissioned by Motoring.co.uk shows that consumers rely on motoring portals and dealer websites far more than manufacturer websites when researching potential purchases.
The study of 1,000 consumers by Redshift Research in March 2012 revealed that 31% of consumers visit motoring portals and 29% check out dealer websites, while just 18% visit manufacturer websites.
They use the portals to check prices, get valuations for their current vehicles and read reviews.
The age group most likely to visit dealer and manufacturer websites was 18-24 year olds. 40% visited dealer sites and 34% visited manufacturer websites.
At the other end of the scale, just 19% of 35-44 year olds visited a manufacturer website, while 27% looked at a dealer website.
Chris Green, sales director at Motoring.co.uk, commented: “It is clear from this independent research that dealer websites are a very important channel to convert car buyers. What is also apparent is that few consumers visit manufacturer websites. This may come as a surprise to many manufacturers who think that their sites play a much bigger role in the process.”