Retailers remain car buyers’ top choice

The majority of car owners (55%) still buy their car from a car showroom, increasing to 64% of over 55s, compared to just 38% of under 34s.

The survey of 2,000 UK drivers, commissioned by, found that over a third (36%) buy from showrooms so they can part-exchange their vehicle, get a warranty (33%) and because they feel they have better consumer rights (27%).

However, one in five (21%) find negotiating in a car showroom stressful, and 10% prefer to buy cars online or privately, with 14% saying they can get a better deal not buying from a car showroom.

The research also found that seven per cent are happy to buy a car online without seeing it, rising to 10% of under 55s, while 11% would also buy a car without a test drive.

Ben Wooltorton at said: “Car showrooms continue to dominate the car industry but it’s clear that the long-term trend is moving away from them. Consumers are becoming used to new ways of buying cars, including online marketplaces, so the showrooms need to adapt to make it worth a driver’s while to purchase from them.”