UNDECIDED: A new study suggests women and youngsters need more help when they decide to buy a car. Image: Supplied / Auto Trader
• 27% don't know make or model
• Few have any idea what they want
• 52% of all buyers know exact make
LONDON, England - Recent data extracted from a UK Auto Trader buyer behaviour study suggests that nearly half of all buyers begin their search for their next used car unclear about the make/model they want.
The research showed that 48% were undecided.
Broken down by age and gender, the research suggests more women and young people need support to narrow down options. 32% of women said they had no idea of make and model at the outset; 21% of men did.
Younger people were also more likely to start with a blank: 36% aged 17-24 did not know the make and model; 24% of over-45's did.
Each year in the UK there are around seven million used-car transactions and 2.4-million new car sales. So, the research suggested that more than 2.5-million buyers could benefit from online search pathways that help them find the right car more easily.
Auto Trader’s market research director Nick King explained: “People today make decisions online because it’s easy and they feel more in control. By the time they make the journey to a physical forecourt most will have researched extensively: they'll know exactly what car they want, how much they should spend and a lot about the retailer.
“But," Aut Trader said, "it’s also clear that many need support in taking their first steps. We have to make it as easy as possible not only for the committed petrol head but also the nervous novice, to narrow down choices from the start - and then connect them quickly with the right car and the right dealer.”
Auto Trader recently improved the search filters on its site, making them more relevant so buyers with a model in mind could home in on selections more quickly.
For less-confident buyers there’s a new search path that starts by asking about lifestyle needs. It assumes no expertise on the part of the searcher and begins with the premise that things such as ‘four seats’ and ‘low litres/km’ will be more helpful than expecting a selection by brand, make or model.
Side-by-side model comparisons are then presented on screen to support research and help narrow down choices.
Auto Trader will report further findings from the annual buyer behaviour study in the weeks to come.