Car buyers seeking reassurance by visiting more search websites before making a purchase

In-market buyers are visiting more car search websites before making a purchase, according to a new consumer survey commissioned by MOTORS.

The research found buyers visit an average of 4.2 car search websites, up from 3.5 in 2021.

Two-thirds of buyers (66%) said seeing a car advertised on multiple websites encouraged them to make an enquiry or visit a dealership, compared to 60% in 2021.

Most buyers (84%) said they used multiple websites to double-check the car they are interested in is priced consistently across different platforms, while 82% appreciated being able to check the car’s details were the same.

Three-quarters (75%) said it gave them confidence that a specific car was genuinely for sale, while 71% said it makes specific cars stand out.

The 2024 Digital Touchpoints Survey, which polled the views of 3,000 buyers, also identified how car search websites dominate the initial search and shortlisting stages of the buying journey, with visits to dealerships becoming more prevalent in the final decision making stage.

“Against a challenging economic backdrop, car buyers are understandably seeking more assurance by visiting multiple search platforms before committing to a purchase,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of MOTORS.

“The cost of living crisis and low consumer confidence are encouraging buyers to search wider, with our research showing how seeing the same car advertised on multiple search platforms helps to reassure them before reaching out to dealers.

“For many buyers purchasing a car in the current climate is a daunting prospect. That’s why for dealers it’s more important than ever to build trust and confidence online across multiple websites, something we have long advocated, while also being empathetic to the financial concerns of customers,” said Tugby.