The percentage of used-car buyers who use the Internet to find vehicles now equals the percentage who depend primarily on dealership visits to find a vehicle, a study says.
Since 2008, the percentage of used-vehicle buyers who shop primarily online has increased from 40 percent to 46 percent, market research firm J.D. Power and Associates said in a report today. Another 46 percent use trips to dealers’ lots as their main shopping method, the study said.
The percentage of Internet shoppers increased for certified pre-owned buyers. Half of those customers said they shopped mostly on the Internet, while 45 percent said they shopped primarily by visiting dealers’ lots.
The more than 10,000 study participants purchased cars in February and March of 2009. When they ultimately selected a purchase, 31 percent said they chose a vehicle they found on the Internet, while 28 percent said they found their new ride by visiting a dealership.
“Dealers should expect the Internet to continue to increase in importance among used-vehicle shoppers and adjust their online presence accordingly,” Arianne Walker, J.D. Power’s director of marketing and media research, said in a statement.