3 Min ReadJune 30, 2023

Car Buyers Seem Satisfied as Summer Rolls On

Car Buyers Seem Satisfied as Summer Rolls On

As the volume of car sales traditionally dips during summer, buyers seemed rather content with their purchase process in June. The CDK Global monthly survey of car buyers found that 84% said the overall process was indeed easy, the same as last month and the highest we’ve recorded.

Ease of Purchase Scorecard June 2023

When you looked at individual steps of the process, the needle did move up for all we track. The biggest moves were on some of the thorniest steps, agreeing on the value of the trade-in as well as the final purchase price. In terms of the trade-in, 58% of buyers said that step was easy compared to just 51% in May. There was a similar jump for negotiating the final price with 65% of buyers saying it was easy, up from 59% in May.

Applying for credit rebounded from the drop seen in May, which had it at 58%. Thankfully in June, 62% of buyers found that step easy. That positive change is welcome as there remains little optimism for the credit market to improve this summer.

All the improvement in these steps likely kept the overall Ease of Purchase number at the 84% high because there were fewer buyers finding cars in stock, 45% in June down from May’s 47%. That meant more buyers looked to the vehicles in transit for their selections, 28% in June up from 25% in May. Slightly more buyers also said they spent more time at the dealership than they expected, 36% up from May’s 34%.

For dealers, there were some other positive numbers. The number of buyers who completed the process entirely online without visiting a physical dealership at any point of the process was just 1%, down from only 2% in recent months and clearly the lowest we’ve recorded.

Ease of Purchase Scorecard June 2023

The number of buyers who visited just one store jumped to 30% in June, up from 26% in May. And while fewer buyers had to visit two stores, the number who visited three or more ticked up slightly to 27% from 26% in May.

A simplified car buying process is always important during summer months as a new purchase may be timed with vacation. Despite gas prices remaining steady with no giant drops the past few months, a gallon of gas costs nearly $1.50 less than it did last summer. That’s been one reason for a robust car travel season already with Morning Consult reporting 64% of summer travelers will take their own car on vacation, up 11% from their May Survey. And 33% of travelers say they’ll travel in the next three months.

Dealers and sales staff should keep these seasonal trends in mind throughout the purchase process. This could also lead to more accessory purchases as buyers might want to roll the price of a roof rack or box into their loan.

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David Thomas
By David Thomas
Director, Content

David Thomas is director of content marketing and automotive industry analyst at CDK Global. He champions thought leadership across all platforms, connecting CDK’s vast expertise to the broader market and trends driving our industry forward. David has spent nearly 20 years in the automotive world as a product evaluator, journalist and marketer for brands like Autoblog, Cars.com, Nissan and Harley-Davidson.

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