Nearly half of car buyers plan to make a purchase in 2023, despite the impact of the cost of living crisis, finds eBay Motors Group

Nearly half of all new and used car buyers expect to make a purchase at some point in 2023, despite the impact of the cost of living crisis.

This is among the findings of eBay Motors Group’s latest Consumer Insight Panel poll of 2,000 buyers, conducted in late November by independent research firm Insight Advantage.

The survey found 43% of buyers expect to purchase a car in the new year, while nearly a quarter (22%) think they will buy in 2024. Those looking further into the future include 11% who expect to buy in 2025 and 7% in 2026 or beyond.

Of those planning to buy in 2023, most (30%) expect to transact in Q3.

The appetite to buy in 2023 is concentrated on new and nearly-new and driven by men, under 35s and households earning over £60,000; highlighting the strength of confidence among some consumers making lifestyle purchases, rather than buying out of necessity.

However, the cost of living crisis will have a major influence on whether buyers put their car buying decisions on hold.

Nearly a third of buyers (31%) said they will delay their next purchase because of concerns about the economy slipping into recession and increases to their energy bills. Other significant factors in delaying purchases included the impact of inflation on goods and services (27%), increased council tax bills (25%) and rises to the cost of borrowing (25%).

“Our research reveals a strong intent among some car buyers to make a purchase in 2023, despite the challenges of the cost of living crisis,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of eBay Motors Group.

“The price inflation of new and used cars is a reality and our research shows in-market car buyers are factoring this in when they go online to search for their next purchase,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of eBay Motors Group.

“While many are taking an understandably cautious approach to making a big ticket purchase, factoring in the impact of the looming recession, rising energy bills and inflation, dealers will be encouraged by the resilience shown by buyers.

“Car searches traditionally gather momentum from Boxing Day and the run up to the new year, so dealers need to maintain high online visibility of their stock over the seasonal period to ensure they are there for potential customers researching their next car,” said Tugby.