Breaking: Americans still hate haggling over car prices

March 21, 2017

Another day, another survey suggesting that Americans would prefer to buy cars online.

This time, the data comes from an Autolist poll. While most respondents say that they're okay with the current car sales model, a significant number dislike the muss and fuss of salespeople and haggling. 

To gather its results, pollsters surveyed nearly 6,300 Americans from all 50 states between September 2016 and February 2017. Here are a few of the key findings:

So-so satisfaction with the current model: Of those surveyed, 59 percent said that they were "pretty satisfied" with today's car-buying process. Another 22 percent said that they were "very satisfied". However, 20 percent said that they were either "pretty unsatisfied" (16 percent) or "very unsatisfied" (4 percent). (And yes, those numbers add up to 101 percent due to rounding.)

A distaste for haggling: When asked about ways to improve the sales process, nearly one-third--32 percent, to be precise--said that they'd like to see haggling go the way of the dodo. Another 21 percent said that they'd like to eliminate trips to dealerships. Only five percent said that the process is perfect just the way it is.

Test-drives are still popular (despite what some might think): When asked what they liked best about going to dealerships, 43 percent said "test driving a vehicle".  Only ten percent said "negotiating a price", and just seven percent said "speaking to a salesperson". 

Did we mention that people hate haggling? When asked what they hated the most about going to dealerships, 48 percent--nearly half--said "negotiating a price". Another 42 percent said "speaking to a salesperson". All the other things people hate about dealerships paled in comparison to those two responses.

Everyone's afraid of getting scammed: Of those surveyed, 42 percent said their biggest fear about going to dealerships was "getting ripped off". "Buying a lemon" (27 percent) and "dealing with salespeople" (24 percent) came in a distant second and third, respectively. 

General Motors brands do a great job pleasing customers: Respondents said they were most satisfied by GMC dealerships. Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz tied for second place, and Subaru and Chevrolet tied for third.

Acura is less than beloved: In fact, Acura dealerships had the lowest satisfaction score of any in the survey. Hyundai, Jeep, BMW, and Kia were also poor performers. 

 Have some thoughts of your own about today's car-buying process? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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