Car buying habits revealed: Most Brits won’t use a car sales website

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New research from Go.Compare Car Insurance has found that 46% of buyers say they are reluctant to purchase from a car sales website, the main reason being they like to see the vehicle in person before they buy it.

The insurance comparison site asked UK drivers how they plan to buy their next vehicle in order to better understand car buying habits in 2023 and beyond. More than half (52%) stated they will buy their next motor through a dealer. Just 7% will purchase their next car through a car sales website and a further 7% will go to a private seller.

When asked if they would ever use an online car sales site, 46% said no. More women are put off this car-buying approach, as only 10% say they would buy their car this way, compared to a fifth (20%) of men willing to purchase online.

For 42% of potential buyers, the primary reason for not using online car websites is wanting to see the vehicle they are buying beforehand. Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) state it is because they like to test drive the car first.

Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at Go.Compare, said: “A lot of people don’t know what car they want until they start looking, so it makes sense that the majority of buyers like to purchase through a dealer where they can view and test drive different cars before making a choice.

“It appears that the other main deterrent to buying online is perhaps worrying about not getting exactly what you envisioned as there is no way to see the car in person beforehand.

“That being said, online car sites can rectify this by ensuring that there are plenty of details for each car listing and by offering flexibility, for example providing options to return the car with ease if it isn’t as the buyer expected.”

More information on the nation’s car-buying habits and advice for purchasing your next motor can be found on Go.Compare’s website.

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