Concerns about public transport motivates 20% of used car buyers

By September 24, 2021No Comments

Up to 1 in 5 people who recently purchased a used car were driven by concerns over using public transport, suggests research from leading digital vehicle wholesale platform Dealer Auction.

The platform asked dealers about the motivations they were currently seeing among their customers, with 20% citing that their buyers expressed a wish to move away from public transport by purchasing their own vehicle.

Dealer Auction CEO Le Etta Pearce explains: “The public’s move away from trains and buses during the early stages of the pandemic was no surprise, but it was interesting to see the popularity of used cars following the first lockdown, indicating that customers are potentially looking to move away from public transport long-term. This could represent an opportunity for dealers.

“Understanding buyers’ motivations and using real-time market data is going to be key in equipping dealers to jump on new opportunities by adapting to the shifts in customer habits.”

The survey was part of wider research by Dealer Auction into ‘lockdown habits’ that dealers have kept since reopening their doors back in April 2021. One of the principal trends identified focused on what’s important to drivers.

Pearce says: “The current situation has made us focus on what’s really important. The ‘value’ of having a car has shifted. Customers are becoming drawn towards brands that reflect their lifestyle choices – so this is a chance for used car dealers to promote the way of life and overall well-being that comes with owning a vehicle, rather than focusing on the ‘hard sell’.”

In Dealer Auction’s June 2021 Sentiment Survey, moving away from public transport (18%) was the second biggest motivation cited by dealers – the first being, quite simply, desire for a change of car (57%). Other buying motivations included car sharers wanting their own vehicle (5%), new drivers having recently passed their tests (5%) and needing a car suitable for UK holidays (7%).

Pearce comments: “The survey shows there are plenty of motivations for buying a used car, and consumer demand remains strong. However, with supply still constrained, buying the right stock and pricing to market is crucial to optimise profitability.

“Using real-time data such as AT Retail rating, as seen on our listings, will ensure dealers can be confident that the vehicles they buy will return a greater margin. With lower volume, increased profit per unit is an absolute must.”

With used cars dominating the current market, dealers are diversifying their stock sources to meet consumer demand. Dealer Auction has implemented several smart tools to empower dealers and help improve profitability.

Pearce concludes: “Dealers are taking the learnings from the past 18 months to improve the overall customer journey. When eyeing up these new marketing opportunities, it’s important to stock up quickly! On our platform, dealers have 24/7 access to ‘buy it now’ and timed auctions, helping them get fresh stock on your forecourt in a matter of days.”


About Dealer Auction
Dealer Auction is the UK’s smartest automotive digital wholesale marketplace. We give buyers and sellers more choice, better insight, and greater margin. Dealer Auction is an independent company, created through a joint venture between Cox Automotive and Auto Trader.

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