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What Motivates a Car Buyer to Start Their Search? | Driving Decisions

Mon, Apr 11, 2022

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The beginning of the car buying process starts with a motive – something that makes a new or used car buyer decide that it’s time to start shopping for a vehicle. A customer’s motivations will impact when and what they buy, and with most customers finding their next vehicle online, you need to understand why your next customer is shopping for a car before they can tell you.

You must know whether your customer needs a car or wants a car. 49% of car buyers need a vehicle. They’re reacting to something that has happened and now have a deadline to buy their next vehicle. For many of these customers, their current vehicle is not even functional. 51% of car buyers want a vehicle. It’s simply time for a change, or there is something they would like from a different vehicle and they’re able to take their time and decide what to buy.

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There are some slight differences between new and used car buyers, specifically that new car buyers are more likely to want a car, with 36% looking for an upgrade, while used are more likely to need a car, with 23% waiting for an expensive repair estimate before they replace their car.

Knowing these customer motives can help you tailor your online listings and prepare your staff for when a customer is ready to visit your store. When a customer arrives, simply ask them about their current car and find out whether they need or want a new vehicle.


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 owners and finds the answers! Our proprietary research looks closely at the motives and behaviours of today’s car owners to uncover exclusive insights you won’t find anywhere else. To date, we’ve surveyed over 9,000 Canadians 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 and we’ll get you some answers!

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