Topic: CarGurus data
As global inventory shortages linger with no definitive end in sight, we decided to dig into our search data from the first quarter of 2022 to see what’s trending among buyers in the UK. In particular, we looked at which used makes and models were the most searched on CarGurus in 12 UK regions.
It goes without saying that the automotive market has changed significantly over the past 12-24 months. For the second year in a row, CarGurus analysed the path to purchase of more than 1,500 car buyers to offer an in-depth look at how today’s consumer journey is more complex than ever before in our CarGurus 2022 Buyer Insight Report.
With used vehicle sales down 6.3% in the third quarter and a likely seasonal slowdown in demand in November/December, it’s not surprising to see used inventory levels increasing. In November, the CarGurus Used Vehicle Availability Index reading came in at just over 96, an increase of 6.9% from October – yet, compared to last year, things are relatively flat with inventory up just 0.6% from last year. However, it is surprising to see that even with demand slightly down, we saw no relief on pricing.
With a resolution to the ongoing global chip shortage unlikely in 2021, average listing prices have continued to increase as supply remains limited. Despite the steeper price tags, consumer demand for vehicles remains high. We decided to dig into our search data from last quarter to understand what impact high prices and limited vehicle availability have had on buyers’ searches.
Seasonal changes as well as some exogenous shocks led to shifts in the narrative as we put a bow on the third quarter. However, the underlying uncertainty caused by high demand and limited supply remains.
In somewhat of a surprise move, we saw inventory levels increase in September with the Vehicle Availability Index reading 82.3, an increase of 4.7% from August. However, this was likely caused by both a cyclical decline in used sales in September as well as the petrol shortage at the end of the month, which could have caused consumers to delay purchases.
Throughout the pandemic, CarGurus has kept a pulse on consumer sentiment around car buying through its Covid Sentiment Study. The Q3 edition, which surveyed 989 UK consumers in July, found good news for dealers: consumer confidence is up 20 percentage points among respondents. Eight in ten (77%) say the pandemic did not negatively impact their ability to afford a vehicle today, vs. just six in ten (57%) in June 2020.
However, the pandemic continues to have a lasting impact on the industry, shaping attitudes around car buying. Below, we explore which trends are temporary and which are here to stay.
There had been a hope that August could be a turning point in the ongoing chip shortage currently battering the global automotive industry; however, that hope came and went with the reality that a resolution in 2021 is not likely. In fact, the UK now looks to be experiencing a direct hit from the chip maelstrom that we’ve seen in other markets in recent months.
Although the rollercoaster of 2021 continues, dealerships have adapted, selling cars to the plethora of car buyers still searching for and researching vehicles online. But as global inventory shortages persist, we decided to dig into our search data from the second quarter of 2021 to see how buyers’ searches have changed since the beginning of the year. In particular, we looked at which used makes and models were the most searched on CarGurus in 12 UK regions.
Earlier this year, CarGurus released its inaugural Buyer Insight Report in the UK, which analysed the digital purchase paths of more than 1,500 buyers. To provide more insights into the mindset of the next generation of car buyers, we dug into the data to explore the differences among younger car buyers (Gen Z and Millennials) and more seasoned car buyers (Gen X and Boomers).1 The key takeaway? Younger car buyers are more brand-open and less certain about major decisions, which results in a higher likelihood that they take their time and compare their options to find the best deal possible.
Consumers are more excited about driving assistance features than self-driving cars, according to new CarGurus research
For several years, CarGurus has surveyed US consumers on their attitudes toward autonomous vehicles (AVs). This year, we also checked in with UK consumers to get their sentiments on the topic. The results? More people are concerned about AVs than excited for them. According to buyers, they’re a huge leap in technology, but the majority aren’t convinced the pros outweigh the cons, especially concerning safety.
Here, we break down four key findings from our Self-Driving Vehicle Sentiment Survey conducted in April and what they mean for dealers.