Owners favour dealers over online buying services when part-exchanging, finds eBay Motors Group research

Despite the emergence of high profile online used car buying services, most owners would rather trade-in their vehicles with dealers when making their next purchase, preferring the convenience of transacting in one place.

The latest eBay Motors Group Consumer Insight Panel research, polling the views of over 2,000 in-market buyers, found 62% expect to part-exchange at a dealership against the value of their next purchase, while 38% will sell their existing car before buying from a dealer.

The research shows dealers are also the preferred destinations for online valuations for most owners. Nearly a third (32%) say they will get an online price from the dealer they expect to buy from, while 22% will get online valuations and offers from dealers they find through car search websites.

A further 21% prefer to speak directly to the dealer they are buying from about part-exchanging their current vehicle, rather than seeking an online valuation.

And when it comes to alternatives to dealer trade-ins, private sales (28%) are just ahead of online car buying services (27%).

For buyers choosing to part-exchange with dealers, convenience is the biggest overall consideration, the main reasons given by respondents were: ease, being able to do everything in one place and speed.

For those selling their current car ahead of buying a replacement, the biggest driver was getting a better price, followed by being in control of the process and having more options.

“Despite the choice of online car buying services, many of which have become household names, when it comes to part-exchanges, dealers are the go-to destination for most buyers, whether getting valuations online or negotiating in the showroom,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of eBay Motors Group.

“While this is welcome news for all dealers, they will still need to work hard to retain this business or see specialist online used car buying services win it from them. “In light of the ongoing shortage of used cars, a dealer’s ability to retail part-exchanges is more important than ever. While our research reveals just how attractive it is for customers to trade-in and buy at the same time, over half (57%) of all buyers claim to get at least one type of online valuation. So the need to be competitive on valuations remains paramount,” said Tugby.