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Consumers browse, not buy, on web

UK new car buyers are becoming increasingly attracted to the internet, but use it to window shop rather than to buy according to research by Fletcher Research.

In the survey, 73% disliked the practice of pressure selling and 62% had concerns of being overcharged by dealers. The internet would be instrumental in pushing down prices said 85%, while 82% anticipate a more open disclosure of information.

Fletcher reports that, in the UK, the internet is appealing to older, better educated and more affluent car buyers who use the medium for research purposes, but not necessarily for purchasing.

The key deterrents to buying a vehicle online are the significant financial commitment and the need to test-drive the vehicle, cited by 66% of respondents.

By 2003, nearly 500,000 purchase decisions will be made online, representing 20% of the UK new car market. According to Fletcher, the internet will have most impact on the luxury car market, influencing 65% of purchase decisions.

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