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Millennials are 'ready to buy their next car online' - research

Mitsubishi Buy Online

The youngest drivers are ready to buy their next car online according to a survey of 1,500 UK motorists.

A Trustpilot survey*, carried out by YouGov, found that more than a third (36%) of millennials (those aged between 18 and 35) are willing to buy a car online compared to 25% of all respondents.

Millennials were also most likely to trust major online companies with 56% displaying at least moderate trust in Amazon, compared to 42% overall and just 31% for those aged 55 and over.

Similarly, 33% of millennials would be willing to buy a car from online technology giants such as Google and Apple, compared to 23% overall and just 17% of those over 55.

When it comes to researching their next car, 82% of millennials turn to the internet.

Online reviews are considered one of the most influential sources of information with 80% citing reviews as at least fairly influential, far higher than general social media which was only viewed as influential by 37%.

Millennials also value word of mouth recommendations with 81% believing them to be valuable. Less influential sources for younger buyers include expert reviews at 52% and advertising at 39%.

Neil Bayton, partner director at Trustpilot, said: “For those seeking to appeal to millennials, the message is clear - build a compelling digital experience that provides access to the buying and service experiences of others.

“By doing so you’ll appeal to millennials on their terms as our research clearly shows this segment is ready to buy online.

“The winners in the industry will be those that embrace change and transformation.”

One retailer that has acknowledged the importance of appealing to millennials online buying preferences is Fords of Winsford Car Supermarkets.

Nathan Quayle, group marketing manager, said: “We’ve taken significant steps to enhance the way we present and market our cars digitally, including inviting customers to review our experience and using this across our marketing channels.

“Millennials are an increasingly important customer group for our industry and those digital natives really want a transparent and superior online customer experience.”

Trustpilot is an online review community that helps consumers make better purchasing decisions and businesses showcase and improve their service. Any consumer can write a review on Trustpilot; any business can invite its customers to share reviews about their experiences for free.

How influential, if at all, do you think each of the following would be to you when deciding which car to buy?

  Net influential (18-34s) Net not influential (18-34s)
Word of mouth recommendations (family / friends) 81% 13%
Independent online reviews 80% 14%
Manufacturer's website 61% 33%
Car magazines / printed expert reviews 52% 41%
Advertising by manufacturer 39% 55%
Social meda (comments / ads) 37%



* The research was conducted in September. The sample size was 2,046 adults, of which 1,525 adults are driving licence owners. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). 281 millennials were surveyed as part of the research.

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