Consumer Purchase Intentions Remain Strong

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Consumers remain cautious, but say they are more confident about buying a new or used vehicle. PHOTO Unsplash

The results of a recent autoTrader study indicate that consumer intentions to purchase a new or used vehicle in Canada remain strong.

These results note a strong trend, even during this third wave of the pandemic. According to the study, the levels of uncertainty and apprehension reported by car buyers at the beginning of the pandemic have decreased significantly.

Since the beginning of COVID-19, TRADER has been conducting research to keep tabs on consumer sentiment regarding vehicle purchases. Results from the most recent study, conducted in March 2021, indicate that reasons for considering a purchase have remained consistent.

For example, 27% of those surveyed say their current car is too old, 18% would like to purchase a newer vehicle while 9% say they need a larger vehicle.

Pandemic impact

According to this study, 41% of respondents are very concerned about COVID-19, compared to 66% at the beginning of the pandemic. This represents a 25% increase in confidence.

Of the total respondents, 38% expect to have to extend the time to buy their car, compared to 72% of buyers in March 2020, who thought it would take them longer than usual to buy a vehicle.

Personal finance

Some 49% of consumers are concerned about their finances, compared to a score of 75% at the start of the pandemic. In addition, 36% said they plan to delay their vehicle purchase, compared to 68% in March 2020.

The study states that 37% are concerned about their ability to afford a vehicle due to COVID-19, compared to a March 2020 result of 56%.

The pandemic has also changed consumer habits when considering a new car purchase. Online automotive platforms are used by 62% of potential buyers, while 39% will check out dealer sites and 33 percent will visit automaker sites during their buying journey.

According to the results of the latest wave of research conducted by TRADER, it is fair to say that the levels of uncertainty and apprehension reported by car buyers in March 2020 continue to move in a positive direction.

TRADER is optimistic that the results of the latest consumer research combined with the growth in traffic and engagement across the country on its autoTRADER.ca platform will result in a further increase in demand for new and used vehicles for dealers and merchants.


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