How do global consumers research  cars before buying one?
April 5th, 2023, Clifton Mark

How do global consumers research cars before buying one?

Approximately one-third of global consumers think they’ll probably buy a car in 2023, how are they making this big decision? Previous YouGov research explored which factors drive car-buying and, in a recent poll, YouGov asked nearly 20,000 consumers in 18 global markets how they conduct their pre-purchase research before buying an automobile.

The most popular means of research is simply to canvass trusted opinions by asking friends and family, which half of global consumers (50%) say they prefer to do before making an automobile purchase.

Written consumer reviews (44%) and consulting a brand’s website (38%) are also popular. The least common answer given was to consult video reviews, such as those on YouTube, though 30% of consumers still said this was a preferred method of gathering information.

The poll also revealed significant differences in how men and women do their pre-purchase research. Women are more likely to rely on friends and family (56%) when compared to men (45%), and are also more likely to talk to sales people before making a car purchase (41% versus 31%).

On the other hand, men are more likely to consult video reviews than women (35% vs. 25%).

How consumers conduct learn their pre-purchase research also varies by region. Europeans, for example, seem to be a little less concerned with research in general than other markets. They rely on sales executives and brand websites about as much as other markets but are below average for every other form of research.

APAC consumers provide something of a mirror image. They are above average on all forms of research except consulting a brand’s website. This includes 43% of APAC consumers who prefer to use video reviews, which is over twice the proportion of Europeans (21%) who do the same. The UAE is the only other market that relies as heavily on video reviews (43%) as does APAC.

American consumers are the most likely of all markets to consult friends and family (57%) and written reviews (53%). However, they’re the least likely to trust sales executives (30%).

Like Americans, Canadians are also prefer written reviews (52%) and consulting friends and family (54%) more than most markets. However, they are also much more interested in video reviews (32%) and are more likely to consult a sales executive than Americans.

Age groups also present some, perhaps predictable, variation. Younger demographics (ages 18-34) are more likely to rely on online reviews, both written and on video, and expert opinions. Consumers above the age of 55 are more likely to consult a brand’s website or a sales executive than their younger counterparts.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2034 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in February 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.