More than a third of Millennials are ready to buy a car online, according to the results of a new Trustpilot survey, as the growth in online car buying appears to be counteracting a trend in a declining market.
The survey of 1,500 UK motorists, conducted by YouGov, also found that 18% of Millennials (defined as 18-35 year olds) are willing to consider a driverless car.
A total of 36% of Millennials confirmed they would be willing to buy a car online, compared to 25% of all respondents, which Trustpilot said demonstrated “the need for retailers and automakers to transform itself digitally “.
Yesterday, Mitsubishi in the UK unveiled its new online retail offering Mitsubishi Buy Online, which claims to provide an end-to-end online shopping experience without excluding its retail network.
Retailers will continue to deal with customers who move away from the online platform to complete the transaction in person and will also facilitate road tests and vehicle deliveries.
This week, the independent online car retailing portal Buyacar reported that its orders were up 66% from last year, despite the faltering market.
BuyaCar.co.uk expects online car buying to continue to grow next year, despite the general slowdown in the UK car market.
Trustpilot believes the growth in online car retailing is due to improved levels of consumer confidence.
Millennials were also the most likely to trust large businesses online, with 56% showing at least moderate trust in Amazon, compared to 42% overall and just 31% for those 55 and over.
Likewise, 33% of Millennials are said to be willing to buy a car from online tech giants like Google and Apple, compared to 23% overall and just 17% of those over 55.
When it comes to finding their next car, 82% of Millennials turn to the internet.
Online reviews are considered one of the most influential sources of information, according to Trustpilot, with 80% citing reviews as at least somewhat influential, far more than general social media which was only considered influential by 37 %.
Millennials also appreciate word of mouth recommendations, with 81% finding them useful.
Less influential sources for millennial shoppers include 52% expert reviews and 39% advertising.
Neil Bayton, Partner Director of Trustpilot, said: “For those looking to attract Millennials, the message is clear: create a compelling digital experience that empowers others to buy and serve experiences.
“By doing this, you will attract Millennials on their terms, because our research clearly shows that this segment is ready to buy online. The industry winners will be those who embrace change and transformation.
Austin Collins, chief executive of BuyaCar, said the shift in focus toward online car buying by many motorists reflects growing confidence in the “Amazon-like” click-to-buy experience.
This is especially true for people too busy to visit multiple dealerships or less confident in the environment of a traditional dealership, he said.
Collins added: “People used to say that no one would want to buy cars online and many dealers saw the possibility that they could as a threat, but how times have changed.
“Now we are seeing record growth in direct car sales to online shoppers and the dealerships we source cars from are enjoying this boost in an otherwise difficult market. “