Car buyers back local dealerships

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of car buyers want to purchase their next vehicle from a local dealer.

New research from car buying platform What Car? found overwhelming support for local dealerships, with more than a third (34%) of buyers saying they would buy their next car from their local dealer even if one further away had the same model for a lower price.

The same percentage of respondents were also willing to buy a different spec of vehicle than they initially intended if their local showroom had it in stock.

Meanwhile, despite waiting times having surged for some new models, 56% of in-market buyers said they would be willing to wait longer for a vehicle to arrive to a local dealer than buying it elsewhere sooner.

The research also found 37% of in-market buyers are looking to purchase in the next four weeks, and 27% are set to buy within the next three months.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “Our previous research has shown that most buyers research their next vehicle online, but there is clearly strong support for local dealers among in-market buyers when it comes to purchasing their next car.

“Convenience is always a reason why buyers prefer to buy local, but our research shows the same buyers also believe it’s important to support their local dealer and are even willing to wait longer or pay slightly more in order to do so.

“At a time when the industry is embracing online sales, this is a reminder of the role local dealers play for motorists, the loyalty this generates and the benefits of nurturing lasting relationships with customers.”