Dealer groups are being urged to enhance their websites to enable customers to buy online after new research found buyers are prepared to make an internet-based transaction if backed by the reassurance of a franchised dealer.
According to new research from used car website Trusted Dealers 45.9% of people would be prepared to complete the car buying process on the internet, with a third (31.1%) only willing to do so via a main dealer.
An additional 20% said they were willing to put a deposit down to secure a car they had seen online.
Trusted Dealers surveyed 1,000 motorists on their car buying habits.
Buyers are increasingly using the internet to inform every part of the buying process, with nearly 68% of buyers using the internet to research the type of car they want to buy.
The results also found nearly 30 per cent of buyers (28.7%) use the internet to look for dealer reviews, 52% looking for car reviews, more than half of buyers (51.7%) to find out what price they should be paying and 31.7% to locate a specific car.
Trusted Dealers is encouraging dealers to take advantage of this changing trend by ensuring they make the most of their online presence, through websites, listings and reviews.
Neil Addley (pictured), managing director of Trusted Dealers, said: “Many of our members have highly accomplished web presences and as more and more consumers head online to find the best deals for cars, dealers should be ensuring their online presence is capitalising on this by offering premium information, reassurance on classified websites and customer reviews.
“Buying from a recognised dealer is still a key attraction for many motorists, with a third of potential buyers saying they would only buy online from a reputable main dealer."
Trusted Dealers is part of the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA).
It aims to guarantee consumers peace of mind by offering a ‘10 points of difference’, with every vehicle undertaking theft and write-off checks, mileage verification and meticulous pre-delivery inspections.
All of these safeguards are designed to ensure that buyers are protected when purchasing online.