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Year of the Used – As 2018 draws to a close, was the used car king?

As the year draws to a close a range of automotive data providers including Cazana, Dealerweb and Manheim report a buoyant used car market. It seems 2018 has indeed been the year of the used car with increasing demand over H2 likely to continue into 2019. CitNOW’s consumer research further added to the positive picture of the used car market. Almost 50% of customers questioned said they were looking to the used market to buy their next car with nearly 20% more were still deciding between new or used. The stage is set for prepared retailers to reap the rewards.

What used customers want

CitNOW’s Year of the Used research showed that with more than 50% of consumers in the survey believing an online video tour of a used car for sale is an important or essential part of the used vehicle listing, ensuring vehicles have the right digital assets when uploaded to websites for sale has never been more important.

Nearly three-quarters of used car buyers, though, expect the experience to be as good as buying new, so retailers need to stand out by delivering exceptional customer service. Switched on dealers who want to create an impression respond to a used car enquiry with a personal video highlighting the key features and condition as well as introducing both the business and the sales executive as a point of contact if the customer wishes to make a visit in person.

How to provide the experience used car buyers want

A shocking 57% of used car customers said they have had a negative used car buying experience due to mechanical failur before, openness and transparency are essential parts of the customer journey for car buyers. A video walk-around of the car fills buyers with confidence and can often be the tipping point in favour of booking a test drive.

As retailers seek to attract used car buyers and capture the up for grab new car customers too, it’s important to provide the experience car buyers want. Here are the key findings from the Year of the used consumer research:

  • 9/10 consider high quality imagery to be important or essential when viewing a used car online
  • 70%+ consumers think a 360-exterior shot of a car is an essential element of an online used car advert.
  • 68% consumers think 360-interior imagery is an essential element of an online used car advert.

Providing as much information online in the first place followed up with a personal video of the car of interest sets a retailer apart from competitors.

For more insights into used car buyers, download the full report here.