Car buyers shifting to agency model

A majority of car buyers would prefer to purchase their next car directly from the manufacturer via an ‘agency’ model with fixed prices, rather than from a traditional dealer.

This is according to the latest research from What Car?.

It found that 55.4% of 1,221 in-market buyers surveyed said they would rather purchase their next car directly from a manufacturer with a guaranteed price, rather than negotiate with a dealer. The same percentage were in favour of manufacturers moving to an agency model in the future – which would see standardised prices introduced across new cars.

What Car?’s research found just 24.6% of respondents stated they actively enjoy haggling, while the rest either dislike it, accept it as part of the buying process, or never do it.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “Our latest research highlights that a slightly higher percentage of customers still prefer the agency model over traditional dealers, with fixed prices seen as a more convenient way to purchase a vehicle.

“However, the fact that despite more than 12 months of progress, a near identical share of buyers still prefer the agency model, suggests that the traditional forecourt will remain a part of the UK automotive landscape for some time.”