What do global consumers prefer as their future vehicle purchase method?

Cheryl Kar
June 30, 2021, 3:32 PM UTC

When it comes to buying a car, are global consumers now more likely to opt for an online experience or do they still want a chance to kick the tires on a prospective purchase before they sign on the dotted line?

A YouGov survey across 17 markets shows that nearly a half (47%) of global consumers would still consider buying their future vehicles in-person from a dealership. But new car-purchase options are also growing in appeal and just over one in ten (12%) are happy to consider buying online and then pick their vehicle up at a dealership.

Italy registered the highest number of consumers (62%) who say they would consider buying their future vehicles from a dealership in-person. A similar attitude can also be observed in other European markets as a plurality of consumers in Denmark (54%), Spain (53%), Germany (50%) and Sweden (50%) consider an in-person visit at the dealership superior to an online or pickup purchase of their future vehicles.

Our study shows significant differences across the Asian market. While Indonesia comes a close second (59%) to Italy, consideration of dealerships gradually declines amongst consumers in India (43%), UAE (40%), China (37%), Singapore (32%) and Hong Kong (25%).

Looking at the other end of the spectrum, consumers in the US show the highest consideration of buying their future vehicles online and then picking it up at a dealership (17%) compared to the other markets in our study. But, it’s worth noting that more than half (52%) of American consumers still favour to go in-person at a dealership and buy their future vehicles.

Overall, even if auto dealers are ready to digitise vehicle purchase methods for consumers, the latter seem to consider an in-person purchase of their future vehicles significantly more than one where they click, pick, and pay.

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Methodology:

The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 511 and 2093 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in May 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.