As dealers continue to face inventory shortages, the process of buying a vehicle becomes even more difficult. A recent survey by Clutch found that 84% of car buyers want the process of buying a car to be easier, with 76% saying they would rather spend less time visiting dealerships to find the right car. and 71% agreeing that they would prefer not to deal with commission-based salespeople.
“It’s no surprise that Canadians are tired of the car-buying experience that forces them to spend hours of their precious free time traveling between dealerships, haggling with salespeople or browsing the classifieds,” said Dan Park, CEO of Clutch. . “A car is the second biggest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, but so many Canadians dislike the car-buying experience.”
The investigation conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Clutch revealed that:
- More than half (55 percent) of those who purchased a vehicle from a dealership in the past 2 years cite feeling they needed more information
- Forty-three percent of Canadian car buyers state outright that they don’t enjoy the process of shopping for or buying a vehicle from a dealership, which is especially true in the Prairies (59% Saskatchewan/Manitoba)
- Twenty-one percent of car buyers felt taken advantage of
- Twenty-seven percent of Canadian car buyers say they don’t trust salespeople to give them all relevant details about a car and offer a fair price
A lack of trust in dealerships and dealerships appears to be a key cause of the difficult car buying experience. Majority of car buyers report that when it comes to levels of trust in used car dealerships to provide all relevant details about a car and offer a fair price, 83% either don’t trust or do little trust the seller.
When it comes to effective solutions to improve the car buying process, more than half of Canadian car shoppers (58%) cite price transparency, followed by 38% who want the chance to try the car for several days, 37 percent wanting to avoid interactions with commission salespeople, and 32 percent wanting more online options to avoid the dealership all together. Only 12% of recent car buyers say nothing needs to change, that the current dealership experience makes sense.
“It’s clear that Canadians are ready for an improved car buying process that no longer leaves them feeling taken advantage of,” Park said. “We designed Clutch with a customer-centric approach so that when customers visit our website, they aren’t being sold a car by a pushy salesperson, they are buying a car that best suits their needs.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have initially led many Canadians off the roads, they are now back behind the wheel and many are ready for a new vehicle and eager to get away traditional dealership experience. Among those who recently bought a car or plan to do so within the next two years, 61% say they would consider buying a car online without seeing it in person first.
“At one point, people would have thought buying a car online was nonsense,” says Park. “But once the pandemic hit and demand for contactless services skyrocketed, more and more Canadians began to explore online retail experiences like Clutch, which is rooted in convenience, transparency and affordability.”
Thanks to Clutch’s customer-focused approach, its website features will be extremely appealing to the large population of Canadians who want to make a confident and informed decision when purchasing their next vehicle. These features include:
- Vehicle Information Transparency: Every car listed on Clutch.ca undergoes a rigorous 210-point inspection to ensure reliability, with the inspection report and a free Carfax report available directly on the listing page. High resolution photos with a 360 degree tour of the vehicle’s interior, exterior and flaws are also available.
- 10-Day Clean Test: All Clutch vehicles come with a 10-day clean test period with a full money-back guarantee, giving customers time to see how the vehicle fits into their daily lives.
- Competitive pricing: By removing the overhead associated with the traditional dealership model, such as fancy showrooms and commission-based salespeople, Clutch is able to pass savings on to customers and offer pricing competitive.
- Customer Support: Clutch’s customer support team is there every step of the way, from when a customer asks their first question to when they deliver the car directly to the customer’s doorstep.
- Convenience: Clutch allows Canadians to browse thousands of quality vehicles from the comfort of their own home while accessing a fully digital shopping experience, which includes financing, insurance and seamless home delivery.
“Ultimately, we want Canadians to enjoy the process of buying a milestone like a car,” Park said. “We’re raising the bar for customer service in automotive retail, and from our report, it’s clear that Canadians are ready for an improved experience.
Other findings from the Clutch report include:
- When it comes to buying a car, 39% agree that salespeople have more information than they provide and 28% say commission salespeople prevent them from feeling in control when shopping. purchase of a used vehicle.
- Of the 79% of car shoppers who prefer to take someone with them – a figure significantly higher among women (89% women vs. 69% men) – 36% say they do so because they don’t not feel taken seriously, highlighting the lack of trust between car buyer and seller.
- Canadian car buyers are looking for more transparency around the price and valuation of the vehicle (30%), more information about the vehicle’s history before going to the dealership (21%), access to a Carfax report (15%) and better photos and videos of the vehicles (14 percent).
- Three-quarters (76%) of car buyers believe there is a lack of transparency between salespeople and customers.
- When visiting a dealership, only 13% of Canadian car buyers say they enjoy the process and feel completely in control.
- Before buying a car online, Canadian car buyers have conditions:
- Thirty-nine percent of respondents would like to have access to owner and vehicle maintenance history.
- Thirty-eight percent want reassurance that they can return the vehicle if they are not completely satisfied.
- More than a third (36%) would like to have access to high-quality images of the interior, exterior and defects of the existing vehicle.
Three in ten (30 percent) want to speak with a customer support person when choosing their vehicle so they can ask questions.