Car Buying Getting Faster

car buyingNew car buyers today complete their vehicle shopping faster than two years ago, according to a study commissioned by third-party vehicle shopping site

Shoppers for new cars on average take 13.75 hours to buy a vehicle from start to finish vs. 19 hours in 2011, said Kevin Filan, vice president of customer marketing and industry relations at AutoTrader Group, the parent company of

They’ve cut in half the amount of time they spend shopping in the showroom and offline from 7.5 hours in 2011 to 3.75 hours in 2013, according to the study conducted for by R.L. Polk & Co.

Those new-car shoppers also are being more efficient with their online research, Filan said. The time spent online fell to 10 hours in 2013 from 11.5 hours in 2011.

Dealers and the carmakers are providing more detailed information online and in showrooms, allowing shoppers to find what they need to make buying decisions faster, Filan said.

Improved consumer confidence also may be prompting buyers to pull the trigger faster on purchases than two years ago, he said.

The changes in shopping trends were similar for used-vehicle shoppers, the study shows. Total shopping time for used vehicles dipped from 18 hours to 15.25 hours, with offline shopping time cut in half from 7 hours to 3.5 hours.’s 2013 Automotive Buyer Influence Study was commissioned to Polk, which surveyed by phone and online 2,739 random car buyers between December and April.

Some 90 percent of those buyers had purchased a vehicle within the past six months.


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