Poll: Car-Buying Changes ‘Forever’

By Staff Writer July 10, 2020 4961

Urban Science and The Harris Poll released information from a June 2020 study of 1,505 consumers indicating that 61 percent of consumers agree that the entire vehicle purchase process will change forever due to COVID-19.

More than three-quarters (78 percent) see some benefit to shopping for a new vehicle entirely online versus in-person, with about a third or more citing less pressure from salespeople (38 percent) and the convenience (37 percent) or safety (32 percent) of not having to leave the home. Though they see the benefits, even more (93 percent) express some concern with an entirely online new-vehicle purchase process. 

89% OF Dealers agree they must find alternate ways to sell
89% of Dealers agree they must find alternate ways to sell to car buyers

“It’s important to note that one-third of consumers (36 percent) agree that there is no reason to ever visit a car dealership again,” said Simon Bradley, global practice director, at Urban Science. “While this sentiment could change as we return back to normal, this potentially indicates alternative retail formats may play a role in changing consumer sentiment.”

Further, 71 percent agree that they would limit the number of dealerships they visited if they were purchasing a new vehicle right now due to health and safety concerns. Long-term, a quarter of adults think fewer people will do in-person test drives before buying/leasing (27 percent) and that more people will be willing to use virtual or augmented reality to experience a vehicle (25 percent) with nearly one-third (31 percent) believing sales departments will do more mobile visits to customers' homes. Finally, even once the pandemic subsides, over half say having dealership sanitation measures in place both within each vehicle (55 percent) and throughout the building (54 percent) are must haves to help customers feel safe when visiting the dealership.

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Last modified on Thursday, 16 July 2020 14:18