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Nine in 10 UK car dealers unhappy with car buying process

car sales

Dealers believe the car buying process is drawn out by social media enquiries and buyers wanting to part-exchange for more than they’re worth.

Oodle Finance asked 591 dealers: “Do you have any bugbears when it comes to the car buying process?” to which 89% of respondents confessed that ‘yes’ they did.

These respondents were then asked what it was that annoyed them, provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all those that applied.

The top dealer issues were found to be:

  • Buyers wanting to part-exchange their current car for more than it’s worth - 57%
  • Finance agreements can be complicated and hard to understand - 56%
  • It’s a slow/stop-start process if the buyer gets in touch via the website or social media - 42%
  • It can be tricky/overcomplicated to buy someone out of an existing finance agreement when they purchased elsewhere - 26%
  • Buyers don’t factor in additional costs, i.e. tax, MOT and insurance - 21%.

Dealer were also asked how most customers got in touch.

The top response was ‘through the website’ (31%), while others cited their customers got in touch by ‘visiting the dealership’ (28%) or ‘via social media’ (22%).

When asked if they were aware of how their customers found their dealership or a specific car that was on offer, the top responses were found to be ‘from referral sites’ (28%), ‘by driving past and seeing the car for sale’ (24%) and ‘by doing an online search for local dealers/specific cars for sale’ (23%).

Finally, when asked which method of getting in touch they felt was the most successful for them, almost three-fifths of dealers stated that it was when the customer ‘visited the website’ as their first point of call (57%) as they were able to see plenty of pictures, read the spec of the car and shop around online before enquiring.

Oodle Car Finance’s chief executive officer Jonny Clayton said: “The car buying process needs to be a simple one for everyone involved. It shouldn’t involve a lot of sitting around waiting and everyone should go away from the transaction happy with the results.

“Unfortunately, the results here show that the online car buying journey is not as joined up as we’d like and there’s still some way to go.

“The fact even car dealers are struggling with things like finance agreements isn’t ideal – if they can’t understand them or get buyers to understand them, it’s a bit of a struggle for everyone involved.

"More needs to be done to make the process a simpler one.”

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