Over half (55%) of people in Ireland who do not own a car are now considering buying one due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from Carzone, Ireland’s trusted motoring marketplace. The research was carried out to examine car buyer behaviour during COVID-19 and how this pandemic will impact the car buying and selling journey. With car dealerships reopened and activity resuming in the Irish motoring industry, the results of this research offers a glimpse into the new normal of car buying, selling and browsing.
The Carzone Car Buyer Behaviour during COVID-19 report was compiled by an in-depth survey of over 1,400 people in Ireland in May 2020.
Buying and selling a car in a pandemic
According to the survey data, 55% of those who do not currently own a car are now considering buying one, and a further 28% say they are still looking to change car as soon as possible. Over a third (35%) state they will postpone buying a car until later in the year, while only 11% claim to have cancelled their search for a new car.
The research has found that car buyer’s attitudes to online transactions has evolved. Over half (53%) of respondents say they would pay a deposit online for a car, and nearly a quarter (24%) say they would now pay in full for a car online – an increase from the last Carzone Motoring Report* of 5% and 7% respectively. As well as this, 57% would consider buying a car online and having it delivered to their home.
The research reveals certain online tools that would make Irish motorists feel more comfortable purchasing a car online, these include virtual car tours (61%), live chat interactions with dealers (53%), and online car finance applications (28%).
This research conducted by Carzone provides an insight into the concerns of consumers when it comes to buying or selling a car during these uncertain times. Encouragingly, over half (55%) say their car buying budget hasn’t been affected, 40% say their budget has decreased with 5% claiming it has increased.
The top financial concerns cited by respondents include uncertainties around car values, (46%), employment security (27%) and insurance costs (18%).
Car cleanliness and social interactions
The research shows a shift in expectations from dealerships when it comes to buying a car, for example, eight in ten (80%) of those surveyed would like their new car to be fully disinfected by the dealer on collection, 59% want an exterior cleanse on all contact points and 58% want an interior upholstery steam clean. In fact, three quarters (75%) of car buyers are likely to buy a car if the seller has carried out a thorough sanitisation.
44% of potential buyers are still happy to visit car dealerships in-person once they are ready to complete a purchase, and a third (35%) say they will only visit a showroom once they have completed research online beforehand.