A J.D. Power and Associates report released today finds that Internet usage among used car buyers has increased since 2009. Going further in the report reveals that prior to 2010, internet usage among used car buyers has remained steady over the past four years before increasing five points to 68 percent in 2010
Below are the two trends that J.D. Powers found in the report:
- Use of online classified ads as a method to shop for used vehicles has steadily increased, from 29 percent in 2003, to 41 percent in 2006 and 51 percent in 2010.
- After Internet usage, driving by dealer lots is the second-most popular method for finding the vehicle ultimately purchased. However, the gap in popularity between the two methods has widened substantially from 2009.
The report named sites like AutoTrader.com, eBay Motors and CarMax as alternative online shopping resources. Though it seems many consumers still regard Kelly Blue Book as the place to check on prices when comparing vehicles.
Third party websites were not the only growth area. Web traffic to dealership websites has increased, with 81 percent of shoppers reporting they visited the dealership's website. In the report Walker states, “The growth of dealership site visitation, combined with a decline in visits to dealer lots, indicate that dependence on dealers is still strong for buyers, but the preferred method of contact during the shopping process is shifting online."
The study took place from June until August of 2010 and included 10,705 self-reporting buyers.
This all boils down to more people are using the internet to both research and locate their next used (previously loved) car. These numbers are probably going to continue rising in the coming years, so make sure to do your due diligence before you go to your local dealership next time.
[J.D. Power and Associates]