More car buyers than ever before are researching their car online before buying, according to a new survey.
Over eight out of every ten car buyers use online classifieds before heading to a showroom to buy a car, according to car data expert HPI.
Out of these, nearly half visited dealer websites such as Perrys and the majority believe better deals are found online instead of in showrooms.
The extra choice, convenience and the chance to take advantage of ‘hot deals’ are all cited as examples of why online research is growing in the car industry.
Daniel Burgess, Managing Director for HPI comments, “Our findings clearly demonstrate that used car buyers believe that they will find the best priced vehicle within their budget online.”
However, the survey also found once a price is found online, car buyers are happy to travel up to 100 miles to the dealership to make the final purchase.
The study shows the changing habits of UK car dealerships in tough economic times and the changing preferences of car buyers.
Burgess added: “With consumers generally now browsing and buying online, not just by PC but by smartphones and tablets, those dealers that treat their website as secondary now need to be taking steps to shift its priority.”
Car dealerships such as Perrys are increasingly using online magazines and a range of deals to offer customers a chance to research their purchase before heading into a showroom.