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Majority of used car buyers still want to talk to dealers

Karl Werner, managing director of MotoNovo.

Almost two thirds of used car buyers expect to buy a used car in a showroom and talk to dealers face-to-face, a new study has found.

It suggests that the move to online used car buying has eased in a post-lockdown environment.

The research, from MotoNovo Finance, found that just 7% of buyers say they would purchase a used car completely online.

While online is seen as the place people research their options and discover the vehicle that is of interest to them, the appetite to complete the purchase entirely online is low, albeit it has risen slightly compared to the pre-pandemic era.

Expectations for the ability to complete the car buying journey online is declining, however.

Karl Werner, managing director of MotoNovo, said: “Online clearly has a critical role in the car buying journey, but very largely, regardless of age, it is very evident from this research that the majority of people prefer to talk to a person about a used car purchase.

“This does not mean that dealers should ease up on digitisation, far from it; it is a critical part of customers’ discovery phase, but what it does highlight is the importance of high quality, tailored personal service.”

The latest findings presented by MotoNovo Finance reflect the results of a recent study by JudgeService, which revealed that just 10% of UK car buyers plan to embrace a wholly online car retail experience facilitated by click and collect or click and delivery.

One digital trend uncovered by the research is the low levels of engagement with apps. Only dating apps featured lower than car buying. The feedback pointed to the infrequent desire for this service, meaning people were not comfortable using such apps combined with a lack of functionality. 

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