Press release

Auto Trader points to 15 million fewer retailer visits since 2010

Average number of forecourt visits fall from 4.4 to 2.2, from 2010 – 2014.

  • Single site visit is increasingly the norm: buyers arrive following decisions made online
  • Steps to reduce ‘market friction’ in the online space are key to bringing more buyers and sellers together, says Auto Trader

The number of visits made by car buyers to retailer forecourts could have fallen by as many as 15 million in the last four years. That means 15 million fewer opportunities to engage with customers in showrooms every year and more buyers arriving on site having already made a decision online about which car to buy. It’s a trend that is likely to continue in the years ahead, Auto Trader asserts today.

In 2010 buyers visited 4.4 physical sites en route to their next car. Last year, the average was just 2.2, according to figures taken from the Annual Buyer Behaviour Survey undertaken for Auto Trader by GfK1. With roughly seven million used car transactions in both 2010 and in 2014 this translates to a drop from 31 million forecourt visits in 2010 to 15.4 million last year.

The numbers contrast with www.autotrader.co.uk visits which have more than doubled. There are now around 40 million each month compared with 17 million in 2010. Trade solutions director at Auto Trader, Tim Peake says: “that as more and more buyers move online, taking steps to reduce ‘friction’ in the marketplace is key to bringing buyers and sellers together.

“Today consumers operate online because they feel more in control,” he continues, “by the time they make the journey to a physical forecourt, most will have researched extensively: they will know exactly what car they want, and a lot about the retailer from which they wish to buy.

“Of course retailers have to think and lead online, but as the country’s largest online marketplace we have to take steps to smooth the journey too. An important recent step forward has been the launch of our consumer valuations’ tool which is now being used to make a million valuations every month.

“What we have done is to simplify what consumers were already doing onsite with a tool powered by comprehensive retail price data. There’s no longer any need to find equivalent models on site and make a best guesstimate of a car’s part exchange or retail value. Now they can arrive at an informed valuation that then forms the basis of a more constructive discussion with a retailer.

“Given the availability of information to consumers online, the competitiveness of the market and dynamism of retail pricing, live market data has to be the starting point for consumer valuations, but also for our dealers in powering products like Auto Trader i-Control.”

Auto Trader is looking at other areas to smooth the consumer online journey and connect buyers and sellers effortlessly. These include vehicle provenance checks, finance support and insurance partnerships

 For all trade media enquiries, please contact:

Nigel Wonnacott, PR Director at JJ Marketing, on 07802 483 971 or nigel.wonnacott@jjmarketing.co.uk

Get set for forecourts opening on Monday with our latest #GetRetailReady #infographic revealing car buyer's thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/iEsnRun6j8 https://t.co/OPHraHWwX1
Auto Trader Highly Rated is back for 2020! Our Highly Rated Award recognises those car retailers delivering the very best in customer service. Find out when we will be announcing the 2020 Award recipients and what criteria you need to meet to qualify. https://t.co/3KF1MkqhfV https://t.co/LpmE65LbMw
Ian Plummer was invited onto @BBCNews this morning to discuss the latest manufacturing figures from the @SMMT. He took the opportunity to highlight the pent up demand in the market & all the measures #retailers have been taking to get #retailready ahead of #showrooms reopening https://t.co/uNmpEYMatT
Thanks James, kind of you to say and great to hear you've found the insight beneficial https://t.co/63vAiNfMfG
To help retailers get back to selling vehicles as quickly as possible, we're launching a new marketing campaign as well as introducing some of the biggest changes to our site in recent years designed to drive more buyers to your ads. Find out more here: https://t.co/JvfE40zohI https://t.co/dqnoP6x3G0
With showrooms set to open on Monday, we’ve put together a handy #infographic to take you through car buyers' thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/nqvKSP6X5t https://t.co/fUhwQ9j9Fq
Thanks to everyone for joining today's #webinar and of course thank you to our guest presenters @adamjt11 and @MikeHawesSMMT. Be sure to join next week and best of luck to those opening their doors next week #retailready https://t.co/qkAmfJw5kC
Catherine reveals the latest changes coming to the Auto Trader platform to improve the #userexperience and increase ad views and dwell time. https://t.co/EiIphIdQfH
Our latest consumer #marketing campaign is designed to give consumers confidence that they can join the car buying journey again and to push the message that #automotive is back in business!
Back to Catherine to talk about how we are helping consumers to get #retailready

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience