A survey of 2,000 UK drivers suggests the days of the glitzy car showroom, complete with a smooth salesman and a haze of new-car smell, could soon be coming to an end.
The survey for InsuretheGap.com found that while 82 percent of over 55s bought their cars from showrooms, just 60 percent of 18-34 year-olds had done the same. The latter were more likely to have used a private seller.
Why do younger generations dislike car showrooms?
One of the reasons younger generations dislike car showrooms is intimidation. One in five (20 percent) said they found the experience of going into a dealership intimidating.
Another problem for many is the negotiation. As many as 20 percent said they found the haggling process stressful, preferring a ready-made, non-negotiable price online.
Where do people buy cars instead?
A third of us go to car showrooms, then compare prices online at home. It seems as well as proving less stressful, the wealth of variety the internet offers is tempting.
Buyers are pretty slack when it comes to scrutiny of potential purchases, too. Many choose to not drive their chosen car before buying – or not even see it in person first.
One in 10 said they’d be happy to buy a car unseen, if it were from a reputable vendor. And one in 10 of us are happy to cross the country to collect a car bought online, too.
Around half said they’d be happy to buy without a test-drive: 56 percent of men and 47 percent of women.
“Older generations are used to face-to-face interactions being the norm, so maybe this is the reason why they aren’t intimidated or put off by the atmosphere of a car salesroom,” said Ben Wooltorton, CEO of InsuretheGap.com
“For younger generations, used to doing everything online, it might feel a more alien and less comfortable environment. Car salesrooms might need to find new ways to engage with a younger audience, who are used to shopping around, comparing prices and buying things online.”
With subscription services and car companies like Tesla pushing buy-online facilities, we fear for the future of the old-fashioned car showroom.