Buyers say they spend too much time in the dealership

Car buyers who shopped online spent 60 percent of their time there, according to a survey of more than 2,000 car buyers that was commissioned by Cox Automotive through IHS Markit. Perhaps not surprisingly, more than three-quarters of car buyers said they use third-party sites like Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. (Cox owns Kelley Blue Book.)


As for the in-dealership experience, the typical car buyer in the U.S. spends more than three hours in the dealership. Half of those buyers say that’s too long. For nearly 40 minutes of that time, they are sitting idle – time when some buyers might start to rethink the deal…


Nearly two-thirds of shoppers said the financing and paperwork took longer than they expected. The test drive and interaction with salespeople were the most satisfying parts of the process, at 77 percent and 73 percent, respectively.


Nearly 1 in 4 buyers were not aware of F&I products before going to the dealership. Searching  for vehicles and researching trade-in values and incentives are the leading digital retailing activities. Buyers doing these activities online spent less time at the dealership and had a more enjoyable experience.


The number of buyers visiting multiple dealerships has been declining, 59 percent in 2018, down from 88 percent in 2016. Buyers also reported being less satisfied with the price they paid for their vehicle, and less often trusted that the dealership gave them the best deal.


For more information about the study, click here.

Download Bulletin PDF