• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car News

Study Shows Online Car Shopping Is More Efficient

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Nick Palermo
  • Average time spent shopping for a new car decreases by five hours
  • Average time spent shopping for a used car decreases by three hours
  • Average buyer spends more time shopping online

Most people enjoy taking the keys to a new car. The excitement of that moment is surely more fun than the work of finding the right vehicle at the right price. But car shopping is getting easier, or at least less time consuming for many shoppers; that's according to the 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study commissioned by AutoTrader.com.

The study looked at new- and used-car shoppers who spent at least some of their shopping time using the Internet. According to Polk, the average time these new-car shoppers spent shopping -- both online and in dealerships -- has dropped by 5.25 hours since 2011, the last time Polk conducted the study. For used-car shoppers, the change was less dramatic but still significant. Their time shopping has dropped 2.75 hours since 2011.

Now, the average new-car shopper who uses the Internet spends 13.75 hours shopping. Used-car shoppers using the Internet now spend about 15.25 hours. That's a drop of 18 percent for new-car shoppers and about 15 percent for used-car shoppers.

In part, better online resources are making car shopping quicker and easier. More listings are online than ever before, and the quality of those listings is improving. More vehicle shopping sites and apps for mobile devices are helping car shoppers, too. And according to Kevin Filan, vice president of customer marketing and industry relations for AutoTrader Group, the economy plays a significant role.

"When we commissioned the first study a few years ago, the economy wasn't as strong as it is now, and we believe that shoppers were being much more cautious, taking longer before arriving at their final purchase decision," said Filan. "Now that the economy is stronger, buyers are taking less time overall, but they are devoting more of that time to shopping online. This is significant, as it points to the increasing influence of the Internet during the shopping process."

It's certainly easier to peruse dozens of listings online than to drive from one dealership to the next. Shopping online is increasingly simple and effective, a trend that should continue to make car shopping more efficient for consumers.

What it means to you: Everyone wants to make a wise vehicle purchase decision, but efficiency is important, too. Time is money. So spend time shopping online before hitting the dealerships. You can narrow your list of vehicles, saving time while staying informed.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
Study Shows Online Car Shopping Is More Efficient