Online Car Shopping is Eliminating the Test Drive: Study

Online Car Shopping is Eliminating the Test Drive: Study

At one time, prospective new car buyers placed most of their faith in the test drive, but modern-day car shopping is changing all of that. 

A survey undertaken by DMEautomotive polled 2,000 new car buyers, 16 percent of which say that they did not test drive their new car before buying it. Car shoppers are also visiting dealers less frequently and shopping around less in person as 1/3 of the 2,000 only test drove one car before making a purchase, and just 15 percent visited four or more dealers.

“This avoidance of physical dealerships is in stark contrast with how much online vehicle research is happening,” said Mary Sheridan, DME’s manager of research and analytics. “Four in five people now use the Internet for car buying, visiting 10 auto websites in the process.”

The survey also found that new-car buyers under 35 were much more likely to take a test drive than older shoppers. When it comes to the split between men and women, 12 percent of men polled skipped a test drive compared to 19 percent of women.

Finally, the survey found that only 21 percent of respondents think that car salespeople are trustworthy.