Used car buyers happy to search but not buy online, says Manheim
The company says that despite spending an average of 18 hours online researching a car before they make a purchase, taking the plunge and buying online is still a step too far. Two thirds of motorists admitted they wouldn't have the confidence to buy online, whilst 25% said that although they'd be happy to find a car and agree a price online, they wouldn't part with any cash until they'd seen it.
The publication of Manheim's data on online buying follows the news that Tesco is to launch an online car supermarket in partnership with Carsite. However, Manheim says that used car buyers are still too cautious to actually buy a vehicle unseen.
'There is no question that the internet has become the primary research tool for motorists looking for a car. But when it comes to actually buying online, without seeing the vehicle first, consumers are just not ready to take the plunge. Motorists are wary and despite the rise in the number of used car websites, we've found that consumers are not confident enough to make this sort of purchase online,' explained Craig Mailey, marketing director, Manheim Auctions.
Earlier this month, it was announced that online car retailer Autoquake had gone into administration, with both Manheim and BCA commenting to Fleet World that there had been issues with the company's business model.
Manheim's research also showed that not all online visitors are seriously looking to buy a car. According to the study, motorists spend hours trawling the internet researching their next car, looking at the best deals on the market, comparing makes and models on a variety of websites and checking out insurance, tax brackets and increasingly fuel consumption for vehicles. Over half of motorists even admitted to surfing car websites just for fun, searching for their "dream".
However Mailey said that there are numerous benefits to using the internet to research forthcoming car purchases: 'As a search and research tool the internet is second to none and there's a wealth of information out there. As well as the traditional car websites, motorists can also search the Manheim Auctions website or access the mobile version on their smart phones to see what vehicles are coming up for sale. It'll help consumers to get a feel for the used car market as a whole and pick up a bargain.'