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'Impatient' Millennials expect to buy on first dealer visit, says Auto Trader

Auto Trader Annual Buying Report

Young motorists are the most likely to walk into a dealership and expect to drive away with a new or used car on their first visit, Auto Trader research suggests.

The online car sales specialist’s Annual Buying Report – carried out by the research agency GfK – found that 48% of 17 to 24-year-olds intend to buy a car on their first visit to a dealership.

The second highest percentage (38%) are those aged 25-34 years.

Over 2,000 consumers were questioned for it’s the report which discovered that just 9% of Millenials would visit a retailer simply to browse models.

While the majority of Millennials have a clear idea of the car they are interested in buying when they walk into a dealership, nearly half of them are open to whether it will be a new or pre-owned version, however, providing an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to influence their buying decision.

Nick King, Auto Trader insight director, said: “We know there is now no real difference between a new and a used car buyer anymore – there are just car buyers.

“This is particularly true of the 17 to 24-year-olds, the biggest demographic of car buyers to consider new or used, with 42% of them open to either.  

“This is your future audience and not one to be ignored as this generation is used to next-day delivery, and getting everything they want immediately, and it’s why 48% of millennials expect to walk in to a dealership and buy there and then.”

AutoTrader’s report research also revealed that for nearly half of all car buyers their first contact with a dealer is when they walk in, with the primary reason for visiting a showroom being to buy a car retailers need to ensure there is a smooth process in place to achieve this.

A total of 81% of respondents revealed that they had been able to buy their car on the same day.

Auto Trader said that retailers need to ensure that stock is ready to leave the showroom as short notice to satisfy this trend among young customers or risk losing a sale.

The speed and efficiency of the sales process is also key, according to King. He said: “Of all the age groups, Millennials are more likely to say they find the car buying process boring, confusing and complicated, and least likely to say they find it exciting, fun and interesting.

"So there are opportunities for retailers to win here by blending the on and offline retail experience into one seamless process that is enjoyable, quick and easy.

“Millennials are the most impatient for this to happen as they are the most tech savvy, so there is a huge opportunity for the industry to grab.”



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