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64% of UK motorists ‘most likely’ to purchase car online as showroom sales decline

Servicing Stop's chief executive and founder, Oly Richmond

A Servicing Stop survey has revealed 64% of motorists are now likely to head online to buy their new or used car, but one-in-three considers the showroom a more 'trusted' source.

Automotive specific sites such as Autotrader pull 40% of the custom, while 16% head to Gumtree and Ebay, according to the survey of 1,006 consumers. A further 8% will look on Facebook and Twitter for their next vehicle.

However, one-in-three car buyers will still consider shopping at a showroom, with almost half of those surveyed claiming it is the safest and most trusted place to buy a car.

Where would you most likely buy a new or used car?  


Online specific sites like autotrader




Generic selling platforms like Gumtree or eBay


Social Media


In comparison, one-in-three think Autotrader is the safest and most trusted option while a mere 11% have faith in Gumtree or eBay - just 6% trust social media as a car-buying platform.

Which car-buying platform do you trust more?  




Online Specific sites like autotrader


Generic selling platforms like Gumtree or eBay


Social Media


Servicing Stop's chief executive and founder, Oly Richmond (pictured), said: “Motorists are driving a hard bargain online, opting for cheap and quick deals on a new set of wheels over the traditional process of visiting a showroom.

“There’s always been a risk involved in buying a second-hand vehicle but it seems drivers are increasingly willing to take the risk, aware of the consequences and buy online - it’s great to see drivers presented with more diversity in terms of their buying options but it’s a surprise to see so many motorists buying online but still holding faith in the showrooms.”

Survey commissioned by Servicing Stop and conducted by CINT survey institute on 1006 motorists. Survey carried out in March 2018 in London, England.


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  • JStacey - 10/04/2018 14:32

    I think these figures shows the lack of trust the customer has in the Car industry overall. 53% choose to trust somebody they have never met, with no physical presence, probably no previous relationship and no guarantees. Once burned, twice shy.

  • Prof Jim Saker - 14/04/2018 10:58

    Again another misleading heading - 64% of UK motorists is quoted yet the survey was only conducted in London. Buying behaviour varies across the country. Can't make that claim based on such as small geographically defined sample.

  • Chris - 20/04/2018 17:07

    Third time lucky! The headline is scaremongering without real facts. What's actually happening is more customers are looking online first and then going into a dealership and buying. In twenty years not one customer has ever emailed or called in asking to buy a car they've seen. They call to make an appointment and then might buy but at the dealership. The actual figures of customers buying cars online is limited to manufacturer websites and Rockar, but even then they've generally seen the car first, in store or in dealership. Those who have just bought without any interaction is so low that it's not worth worrying about.