2 Min ReadJune 3, 2024

Car Buyers Visit More Dealerships in May

 Car Buyers Visit More Dealerships in May

May was the second month in a row where 87% of car buyers CDK’s Research Team surveyed said buying their new car was easy. This plateau of pleasantness comes despite the need to visit more dealerships to find the car they wanted notwithstanding inventory levels that are relatively high. Yet, even though the number of shoppers having to visit two or more stores rose to 70% in May from 64% in April, four out of five (79%) said finding the car they wanted was easy. This was a marked improvement from a year ago when 74% had to visit two or more stores with only 70% saying it was easy to find what they wanted.

Car Buyers Visit More Dealerships in MayHow buyers chose their vehicle also shifted from April with only half (50%) finding what they wanted in stock down from 53% the month before. Respondents either chose a vehicle in transit, 24% up from 22%, or selected an alternative choice that was in stock, 11% up from 9%.

Car Buyers Visit More Dealerships in MayThe various methods of hunting for the vehicle they wanted came amid overall May sales that were higher than in 2023 with many automakers posting significant sales increases.

For the car shopper, nearly every step of the purchase process also saw improvements in May, with many experiencing consecutive months of improvement. Determining a final price (68%), agreeing on the trade-in value (59%), and applying for credit (68%) all experienced a second month of higher scores. The only score to see a decline at all was the slight dip from 69% in April to 68% in May for completing the financing or leasing process.

Car Buyers Visit More Dealerships in MayRespondents said the ability to do some of the paperwork remotely was a positive with one even calling it a “lifesaver.” However, the number of buyers choosing to so some or most of the paperwork online hasn’t budged much in recent months, coming in at 31% in May, down slightly from 32% in April and 33% in March. The option to do some of the car-buying steps online seems like a clear benefit for the shoppers we heard from and should be promoted as such by dealers to improve the overall customer experience.

As we move deeper into the summer sales months with incentives likely to remain healthy or even grow, buyers who’ve been on the sideline could continue a steady stream into dealerships. It seems the challenge right now is to deliver what they need at the first store they visit.

Car Buyers Visit More Dealerships in May

The CDK Ease of Purchase Scorecard is a monthly survey of nearly 400 new car shoppers that tracks how easy it was to buy a car and the parts of the process that can often be a hinderance.

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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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