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Money back guarantees key to boosting online car sales, says What Car?

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Offering a no quibble money back guarantee would help UK car buyers feel more comfortable buying online, according to new research from What Car?

More than a third of 8,768 in-market buyers (35.55%) said they’d like to see no-quibble money-back guarantees available, giving them the right to hand cars back if they turn out to be unsatisfactory.

Another 35.72% of buyers said they would still like to test drive the car, but have it delivered to their house, while 10.46% wanted total transparency over stock vehicles listed online so they could accurately research the best options from home, without having to visit retailers.

More than a third (35.15%) did say they would feel comfortable buying their next car entirely online.

When asked to explain their reasoning, nearly a third said they already purchase the majority of their goods online, making a car the next logical step. 

A fifth of buyers also said they would prefer to negotiate online rather than face-to-face, with 15.28% saying buying online will save them time compared with visiting retailers. 

Steve Huntingford, editor at What Car?, said: “Currently, the Consumer Rights Act (2015) gives buyers a 30-day window to return vehicles if they are of unsatisfactory quality, not as described or not fit for purpose.

“However, there is clearly an appetite for online buyers to have even greater consumer protection, which is why we are seeing retailers beginning to introduce guarantees that allow buyers to return vehicles up to seven days after purchase with no questions asked.”

US insight into online car buying

A recent US survey of 500 adults by AI consumer analytics company Invoca showed that there has been a 115% increase in online car shopping during COVID-19.

Of those surveyed a third say that they switch car manufacturers to buy from online when they can’t easily find clear pricing.

A website that loads slowly causes 32% to bail out of the online car buying process and 30% said they would change the franchise they are considering just based on whether a website feels dated or not.

A confusing or lengthy checkout process causes 28% to choose a different website to buy from.

When customers are dissatisfied with a website that otherwise offers what they’re looking for, 48% are either likely or very likely to pick up the phone, 27% somewhat likely and 25% not very or not at all likely.

The full Invoca survey results can be viewed here.

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