Three-quarters of car buyers looking to purchase from their local dealer

This is the latest report in a series of weekly updates for industry colleagues from Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive. Quoted poll data is from more than 1100 whatcar.com users.

Support for local dealers remains strong for in-market buyers, despite the increase in online sales and the difficulties associated with the ongoing microchip shortage.

As part of our latest industry research of 1158 in-market buyers, we found that 74% of in-market buyers are looking to purchase their next car from a local dealer, with 84% believing it is important to support their local showroom and garages.

More than a third (34%) of buyers told What Car? they would buy their next car from their local dealer even if one further away had the same model for a lower price. The same percentage of respondents were also willing to buy a different spec of vehicle than they initially intended if their local showroom had it in stock.

Despite waiting times having surged for some new models, 56% of in-market buyers said they would be willing to wait longer for a vehicle to arrive at a local dealer instead of buying it sooner elsewhere.

The research also found 37% of in-market buyers are looking to purchase in the next four weeks, and 27% are set to buy within the next three months, confirming that dealers can look forward to a steady stream of demand in the weeks and months ahead.

What our latest research shows is that, while the majority of buyers will research their next car online, there remains strong support for buying locally. Convenience is always a factor in purchasing from a nearby dealer, yet most buyers also believe it’s important to support their local businesses.

This is an important reminder of the role that local dealers play for motorists, the loyalty that this generates and the benefits of creating and nurturing lasting customer relations.