Younger car buyers 'not confident at dealerships'

Dealers who want to attract buyers across the generations are being advised to ensure they have the right online approach, as well as providing a good showroom service.

According to research by Buyacar.co.uk, while older people still prefer going to a showroom to do a deal, nearly half of the under-55s it quizzed didn’t feel confident going to a dealership and prefer alternative purchase routes such as online.

Providing a good customer service is paramount, both with new customers and to retain existing clients, and it’s wise to make sure you have a good online presence too. However, the dealership aspect will always be important to most people buying a used vehicle because they want to test-drive the car. As well as your general motor trade insurance, make sure you have good demonstration insurance cover to provide this facility.

The Buyacar research found that fewer than six out of 10 under-55s it spoke to would describe themselves as happy and confident in a dealership environment. This age group was most likely to buy online, but just 22.5 per cent said they would pay for a car over the internet without seeing it first.

When it came to visiting dealers, 85 per cent of older drivers said they were comfortable with negotiating, but just 55 per cent of the younger age group classed themselves as such.

Buyacar founder Austin Collins told AM-Online: “Older people appear to be slightly more strongly attached to the traditional motor dealer than younger people and also more confident with the traditional face-to-face way of buying cars.

“But almost half of the under-55s in our survey said they do not feel confident in that scenario. So it’s no surprise that confidence in the alternative car purchase process of buying online is growing more quickly among those people.

“All this suggests that a two-pronged approach for motor retailers will work best for dealers.”