Two thirds of drivers wouldn’t buy a car online

Despite the massive growth of online shopping in recent years, the car buying public is still resistant to making a purchase without seeing the car beyond their computer screen.

That’s according to new research that indicates 67 per cent of drivers would not consider buying their next car online and would need to see the vehicle before committing to a purchase.

Carol Fairchild, commercial director for CitNow, the dealership video provider that conducted the survey of 1,000 UK drivers, said: “Online buying will never work for everyone as many customers rightly value the dealership experience.

“Car retailers need to strike a balance; building a tailored digital journey for their online customers while ensuring a personal experience on the forecourt.”

A number of car manufacturers and dealer networks provide online buying processes. One of the first was Hyundai, which offers a Click to Buy service that lets buyers specify a new car and pay online before collecting at a local dealership.

Various brands have also teamed up with online buying service Rockar to allow customers to pick a finance deal or even part exchange their old vehicle for a new one that gets delivered to their home. The firm plays on the traditional distrust in the dealership experience, saying the full buying experience can be completed “without a sales person steering the process”.