2 Min Read • January 3, 2024
New Cars Easier to Find, Bolstering Buyer Attitudes
Car buyers raced against the clock to secure deals before the end of the year while inventories and incentives were at some of their highest points of not only 2023 but since supply chains put a halt on regular production. These factors led to respondents of the CDK Global Ease of Purchase survey to overwhelmingly rate their car buying experience as easy.
That number bounced back sharply to 85% from 81% in November having attained that high number in October as well. And while, like last month, we saw an increase in buyers visiting just one dealership, up slightly to 36% in December from 35% in November, there was a far bigger change in terms of finding their vehicle.
More than half, 52%, of buyers in December found the car they wanted in stock, up sharply from 42% in October. This led 73% of respondents to agree that finding the vehicle they wanted was easy, one of the highest scores we’ve seen for that question since starting this survey in July 2022.
There was a slight dip in the number of people buying vehicles in transit while ordering from the factory remained steady with nearly one in five buyers (18%) choosing that option. But far fewer people decided on a different vehicle in stock. Just 6% were that impatient down from 9% in November.
Financial aspects of the purchase process didn’t budge much at all in December. Few people found these aspects easy and applying for credit remains a thorn. Only 61% of respondents said that was easy, down from 63% in November.
The amount of time spent at the dealer also saw a considerable improvement with more than one in five, 21%, saying it took less time than they expected at the dealership, up from 16% in November. A number of respondents pointed to the amount of time as the reason why they said the process was easy, one saying they were out the door in 45 minutes.
As the calendar flips over to 2024, it’ll be interesting to track if sustained higher inventories make it easier for car buyers or if this is a plateau that’s hard to overcome.
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.