DRIVING INSIGHTS: Canadians’ attitudes toward buying cars online have changed

When we first asked car buyers if they would like to buy their next vehicle online, it was late 2019 and only 12% of Canadian used-car buyers were ready to buy entirely online. Since then, the process of buying a vehicle has changed substantially says Drew Harden, MSc, manager of customer experience research & insights at CARFAX Canada.

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.

Does age make a difference?
Age does play a small factor with interest in buying online, but it peaks with 12% of new-car buyers, ages 18-24, being interested in buying online. On the other hand, only 6% of the 55-plus crowd are interested in buying new or used online.

Buying online is still a niche
With less than one 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.

Even when it’s not as convenient, going to a dealership and experiencing a vehicle firsthand is still an essential part of the process.

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