The reopening of car showrooms is good news for the industry, as research finds that the majority of car owners (76%) still buy their cars from a showroom, with nearly a quarter (24%) of these second-hand cars.
The survey of 2,000 UK drivers, which was commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, a leading supplier of GAP Insurance (Guaranteed Asset Protection) for new and second-hand cars, found that car showrooms are particularly popular with the over 55s with four fifths (81%) buying from a showroom, compared to two thirds (66%) of 18-34s.
Nearly a half of drivers (49%) prefer to see a car in the showroom and inspect it for themselves. However, it is important the showrooms offer a good deal, as over a quarter (27%) say they don’t believe that the deal a car salesperson gives is the best deal they can get, and nearly a third (31%) go to car showrooms but then compare the prices online.
A fifth (20%) of drivers say that they find negotiating stressful and would rather cars be advertised at the final selling price, and 18% of women say they find car showrooms intimidating, compared with 10% of men.
The remaining buyers purchase cars from private sellers (7%), car supermarkets (4%), online retailers (3%) and family members (3%). One in ten (11%) said that they would be happy to travel across the country to collect a car purchased online, with 14% of men saying this compared with 7% of women.
Almost one in five (19%) drivers would be happy to buy a car without a test drive (men 23% and women 16%), compared with a third (31%) of 18-34 year olds. A third of drivers (33%) in the North East are also happy to buy without a test drive compared with 12% in the South West and 14% in Wales.
Incredibly 8% said they would be happy to buy a car online, from a reputable seller, even if they had never seen it, with 11% of men saying this compared with 6% of women. Although buying a car is a big decision, 14% said that they would buy a car on their own, without even consulting their partner!