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Looking Back to Drive Forward – Top 3 Insights from 2021

by Drew Harden, Fri, Dec 10, 2021

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In 2021, we surveyed over 2000 new and used car buyers to help bring you the insights necessary to be even more successful throughout another tough year in the auto industry. We looked at a variety of topics including how to make service reminders easier, when to offer trade-in values, new data on interest in buying online and much more. As 2022 rolls in, let’s look at how bringing these learnings into the new year can help your dealership.

2022-Driving-Insights-Graphics_Round13_Article3A_ENG-1It seems pretty simple, right? The easier it is for your customers to make a service appointment, the more often you’ll see them. But 1 in 3 Canadian vehicle owners admit to not keeping up with vehicle maintenance. If you can make keeping up with scheduled maintenance easier for your customer, 82% of car owners would visit your service bay for more of their maintenance needs, and 81% said they would trust you more.

The opportunity for 2022: By making keeping track of vehicle maintenance easier for your customers, your dealership will see more service revenue, and this will improve the reputation of your dealership which can directly lead to sales.

Read more about how to make maintenance easier for your customers here.

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Customers want to know how much their trade-in is worth earlier in the buying process. Their trade-in estimate helps them decide if they will buy another vehicle, their budget, and if they should trade in their current car. We found that 2 out of 3 car buyers first learn about their trade-in value while negotiating the price of the vehicle they’re buying which pretty late in the game. These customers aren’t any more satisfied with the process of selling their old car than those who sold privately or to another dealership.

The opportunity for 2022: By providing estimated trade-in values earlier in the shopping process, you’ll be able to help potential car buyers move forward with their vehicle purchase and make trading in with you a better option than selling to someone else.

Learn more about when to offer the trade-in value, as well as overcoming other barriers to trade-ins here.

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The way Canadians shop has changed drastically since March of 2020, but they aren’t interested in purchasing a vehicle fully online yet. In fact, interest in buying vehicles entirely online decreased since 2019. Only 8% of Canadian car buyers, new or used, want to buy their next vehicle online and have it show up at their door; the remaining 92% would still prefer to buy a vehicle in the dealership.

The opportunity for 2022: With less than 1 in 10 car buyers wanting to buy completely online, regardless of if they’re buying new or used, there is an opportunity here, but it is still a niche. Keep in mind that even when it’s not as convenient, going to a dealership and experiencing a vehicle firsthand is still an essential part of the process for most customers.

See the full breakdown of online car buying and why Canadians aren’t ready.


Taking these insights with you into 2022 can help you focus your efforts towards the needs of your customers and give them the best experience at your dealership, from buying to service to trade-in.

We’ll be here with even more insights in the coming year. Wishing you the best of luck in 2022!

Explore how our research can be applied at your dealership to help you win more business - request a consultation with a CARFAX Canada Rep:

Driving Insights
Driving Insights takes your questions about Canadian car buyers, and turns them into answers! Our proprietary research looks closely at the motives and behaviours of today’s car buyers, and uncovers exclusive insights you won’t find anywhere else. To date, we’ve surveyed over 5,000 new and used car buyers to identify their biggest pain points when buying, selling, and servicing their vehicles. If there’s a question you’d like us to address, email insights@carfax.ca and we’ll get you some answers!

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