Car Buyer Journal Study findings
The findings of the study showed that the overall car buying satisfaction rate surged in 2023, with 69% of buyers reporting high satisfaction with the purchasing process. It indicates a remarkable improvement from just 61% in a similar study conducted in 2022.
Highly satisfied buyers of new vehicles increased to 73%, while used vehicle buyers rose to 68%.
Moreover, a whopping 80% of new electric vehicle buyers were “highly satisfied” with the purchasing process. This figure highlights the more convenient experience of buying an electric vehicle than an internal combustion engine-powered car.
The report outlined the following factors that drove the surge in buying satisfaction rate this year:
- improved inventory levels
- the return of discounting
- further proliferation of an omnichannel approach to vehicle buying
Most preferred buying method
The study also showed that customers mostly prefer an “omnichannel approach,” which is basically a combination of online and in-store shopping.
According to the data, only 43% of buyers experienced the in-store and online buying process. However, 71% of the respondents said they preferred the omnichannel approach.
On the other hand, 21% favor an entirely online buying process. Interestingly, only 8% endorse an in-person buying approach.
Unsurprisingly, electric vehicle buyers also prefer the omnichannel approach over all other options. It indicates a significant gap from ICE vehicle buyers at 39%.
Meanwhile, 16% of EV buyers preferred an online approach, and the other 15% for an in-person buying process.
New EV buyers reported a high satisfaction rate with the omnichannel approach, with 77% saying that the process significantly reduced the purchasing time. On the other hand, the number of new ICE vehicle customers who were highly satisfied with the processing time declined to 59%.
“Year after year, our studies suggest that consumers are not pursuing an entirely digital experience. Rather, we believe car buyers want a seamless experience where they can start the process at home, shop, fill out any required forms, and then go to the dealership, test drive a car, complete the deal, and learn about their new purchase. Dealerships that fully embrace an omnichannel approach are the most successful, as the process becomes more efficient for everyone involved and delivers happier buyers as well.”
Vanessa Ton, Senior Manager of Market and Customer Research
Background of the study
Cox Automotive released the 2023 Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study on January 2024. It involved 2,963 people who bought or leased a vehicle between September 2022 and August 2023.
Of that total, 1,966 were new vehicle buyers, while 997 were used vehicle buyers. Meanwhile, 442 were new electric vehicle buyers, with Tesla customers accounting for 227 of the total.
All that said, the study demonstrates the innovative approach of electric vehicle sale models in accelerating the process with new technologies and tools. Impressively, new EV buyers allowed less than 11 hours to buy their unit, indicating an hour faster than those new ICE vehicle customers.