Research conducted by Autohit among 7,000 car buyers revealed 44% of them would consider buying their next car online.
This contrasted with 76% of buyers who said they would still prefer to deal with a traditional franchised dealer rather than buy online.
The majority (54%) expected to get the best deal from a traditional bricks and mortar dealer but believed the internet was the place to find the best price and location.
The increasing popularity of importers and internet retailers was also notable but 35% of respondents preferred to use a franchised dealer because the other routes seemed over complicated. A further 29% believed UK dealers posed less risk than buying from a dealer in mainland Europe.
Interestingly, 27% of those surveyed indicated they would prefer to buy directly from a manufacturer website, but only if no price advantage could be obtained elsewhere.
Only 10% of the survey audience expressed any negative concerns about the issues of internet security with making a large purchase online.
Steve Evans, CEO of Autohit, said: “While there is clear indication that consumer confidence in buying online is growing, the vast majority of car buyers are using the internet as a research tool and then go on to buy from a traditional dealer.”