Three quarters of car buyers say they are planning to purchase their next vehicle from a local dealer, according to a What Car? study.
A survey of almost 1,200 in market buyers found that 74% were planning to buy locally, while 84% said they believed it was important to support their local showrooms and garages.
More than a third (34%) of buyers told What Car? they would buy their next car from their local dealer even if one further away had the same model for a lower price. The same percentage of respondents were also willing to buy a different spec of vehicle than they initially intended if their local showroom had it in stock.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Our previous research has shown that most buyers research their next vehicle online, but there is clearly strong support for local dealers among in-market buyers when it comes to purchasing their next car.
“Convenience is always a reason why buyers prefer to buy local, but our research shows the same buyers also believe it’s important to support their local dealer and are even willing to wait longer or pay slightly more in order to do so.
“At a time when the industry is embracing online sales, this is a reminder of the role local dealers play for motorists, the loyalty this generates and the benefits of nurturing lasting relationships with customers.”
The research found 37% of in-market buyers are looking to purchase in the next four weeks, and 27% are set to buy within the next three months, confirming a steady stream of demand for dealers in the weeks and months ahead.
Despite a surge in lead times for some new models, 56% of in-market buyers told What Car? they would be willing to wait longer for a vehicle to arrive to a local dealer than buying it elsewhere sooner.