If you are one of the millions of Australians who look for all the latest reviews and updates on a new car using an automotive review site, you are not alone.
According to a nationwide representative survey by Savvy, 72% of Australians say they use automotive review sites like ours to conduct their car buying research.
Almost equal amounts of men and women – 71% vs 72% used automotive review sites for research.
66% of Australians used car manufacturer websites as the second most popular choice, with 42% using online forums as the third most popular choice.
Younger Australians favoured social media platforms. The 18-to-24 year old demographic recorded a 46% preference for social media sites for helping them decide what to buy for their next car, followed by 33% saying they took to YouTube for information on their new car. The greatest number of support for YouTube as an influential source came from the 25-34s, with 39% saying they used it as a research platform for cars.
72% of 55-64s and the over 65s (respectively) said they trust manufacturer websites the most. Only 9% of the over 65s considered social media as a credible source for information about cars.
Google backs up some of the Australian data, saying that 95% of vehicle buyers in the US use digital media as a source of information and that twice as many people start their car search online instead of showing up at a dealership.
We are living in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the moment, but most Australians don’t think that an AI will help them find the perfect car.
42% of those surveyed said they were not interested in using AI, with 24% saying it was “likely” they would use AI, with 32% saying it was unlikely or not likely at all.
Men were slightly more confident in AI’s car selection use than women (27% vs 20%), with 25-34s being the most supportive at 35% total trust. 18-24s were equally unlikely (32%) to rely on AI as they were to rely on it (28%).
When it comes to researching new cars, there are many more avenues available to consumers than ever before. Guides on websites pointing to the merits of buying new or used, how to gain a good deal on finance, as well as checklists on how to approach dealers or private sellers give even first time buyers the confidence to enter the car market.
Though manufacturer websites are a good starting point for researching specifications and prices, review sites and in-depth YouTube driving demonstrations can provide even more clarity around how a prospective vehicle will handle, perform, and suit a driver’s needs. Online forums can give insights into used vehicles and tap into the real-world experiences of long-term drivers of the car you may be considering. This can be useful to see if the car is reliable over time, is easy or inexpensive to maintain, and so on.
If you are in the market for a new or used car, there are plenty of ways to find all about your car well before you enter the dealership or contact a private seller – and the more homework you do, the better!