Almost one in 10 used car purchases are now completed entirely on a smartphone, according to BuyaCar.
Analysis of its buyers’ behaviour shows that, in the past 12 months, used car purchases completed entirely via smartphones have soared by 48.7%, compared with a rise of 22.1% on desktop or laptop computers.
Transactions via tablets, such as iPads, are also up, but account for little more than one in every 100 sales.
With 8.4% of transactions completed on mobile, including finding the right car, reserving it, applying for finance, completing security checks and arranging delivery, the business predicts that car buying on the go will become as commonplace as ordering a takeaway or checking social media on a phone screen.
Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: "These figures reveal that the mobile phone is now the go-to screen for nearly one in 10 online car buyers - a figure that would have been hard to imagine just a decade ago.
"But our deeper analysis is even more interesting because it suggests that online car shoppers are also confident to commit to a purchase more quickly than ever before.
"What is perhaps most remarkable about this increase in mobile purchasing activity is that it has happened during a year when many people were locked down and working from home, with no concerns about being overlooked at work while they browsed cars and filled in finance applications.
“So, even though there was perhaps less need to slip away to a quiet location to access the internet on their smartphone, a growing number of shoppers chose mobile as their way to buy a car anyway."
Consumers that visit BuyaCar.co.uk from a mobile phone are now more than twice as likely to complete a purchase as they were a year ago. By comparing actual sales to the number of browsing sessions by individual visitors, BuyaCar noted a 105.2% increase in the so-called conversion rate for mobile users. For desktop and laptop computers the figure is up by 63.4%.
In another sign of car buyers’ confidence to complete an entire purchase online, they are also buying cars faster than ever before. This is measured by contrasting a reduction in the amount of time visitors spend on the site with the increase in sales, again suggesting that the clearer and easier a site is to navigate the more likely customers are to buy from it.