Online car buying is becoming more appealing to older drivers for the first time, according to the latest study from Buyacar.
In the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, the web-based car supermarket says it has identified "unexpected changes" in the attitudes of car-buyers segmented by gender and age, with previously sceptical consumer groups fast embracing an Amazon-style ‘click and receive’ way of buying cars.
Historically, Buyacar’s customer base has been “overwhelmingly youthful”, with sales growth driven fastest by women.
New research into future consumer intentions shows that men and older people are less cautious about buying cars online than at any previous time.
Today, close to one in four motorists say they are prepared to buy a car online, without seeing it first, but for the first time that confidence is increasing with age.
For example, confidence in buying a car online is now rising among more mature drivers and peaking in the 35-44 year old age bracket, suggesting that today’s typical Buyacar customer in their mid-20s may eventually become the exception rather than the rule.
Men are now twice as confident as women to say they are ready to opt for the online purchase experience, without test-driving or inspecting the car first.
Meanwhile, scepticism is falling away across all consumer groups, with determination to see and test a car before buying it now concentrated among the under-25s and the over-65s.
With an annual market of more than ten million new and used cars sold in Britain each year, investors are now pouring money into creating online car sales and delivery operations. Rarely a month goes by without new entrants announcing that they are poised to join the likes of Buyacar, Cazoo and Heycar.
“For the first time since Buyacar launched 18 years ago, we are able to confidently say that the online car buying experience is for everyone,” said Andy Oldham, chief executive of BuyaCar.co.uk.
“Huge investment by new businesses in this market is one sign that buying online is not just here to stay but poised to become the main way in which people buy cars tomorrow.
“But our latest research confirms that this market is not just growing fast but rapidly evolving from a niche for younger people to a mainstream option for all car buyers,” he added.