Over half of car buyers would happily buy a car without taking a test drive, with a fifth also keen to avoid haggling over price, according to a new Opinium survey of over 2,000 UK drivers.
The survey, which was commissioned by GAP Insurance supplier InsuretheGap.com, found that 51% were uninterested in driving the car – with men more likely to buy a car without driving it – in its thorough exploration views on the car retail process.
Responses suggested that 56% men and 47% women could do without the staple of the car selling process.
Opinium said that, for those avoiding car salesrooms, 9% said that they were happy to buy a car from a reputable seller online without having ever seen it, and nearly one in ten (9%) are happy to travel across the country to collect a car bought online.
In both cases, men are twice as likely to do this than women.
Many car buyers will still take steps to avoid a traditional car showroom, meanwhile, with 20% of under-35s finding them intimidating, double the number of over 55s (10%). Women (16%) also find them more intimidating than men (9%), the survey found.
Older generations remain more relaxed about the process, as Ben Wooltorton, chief operating officer of InsuretheGap.com noted. He said: “Older generations are used to face-to-face interactions being the norm, so maybe this is the reason why they aren’t intimidated or put off by the atmosphere of a car salesroom.
“For younger generations, used to doing everything online, it might feel a more alien and less comfortable environment.
“Car salesrooms might need to find new ways to engage with a younger audience, who are used to shopping around, comparing prices and buying things online.”
Opinium’s survey found that 82% of over 55s bought their new or second-hand car from a car showroom, compared with 60% of 18 to 34 year olds, who are more than twice as likely, than over 55s, to have used a private seller advert when buying their car.
One source of stress for younger generations centres around negotiating on the price of a car.
A fifth (20%) of respondents to the survey said that they found haggling over price stressful and would rather cars were advertised at the final selling price, than having to negotiate (22% men v 17% women). Over 55s are more comfortable negotiating than younger generations.
Almost a third (32%) of car buyers go to car showrooms, but then compare the cars’ prices online.