A new study says that the time to buy a new or used vehicle increased throughout 2022
February 19, 2023 at 18:50
by Brad Anderson
A comprehensive report conducted by Cox Automotive has revealed that consumer satisfaction with the car buying process fell in 2022 for the second straight year, due to factors including high prices, limited availability, and the lengthy process of buying a car.
The annual Car Buyer Journey Study surveyed more than 10,000 consumers who were in the market for a vehicle in 2022, consisting of 4,150 vehicle shoppers and 6,118 vehicle buyers. The study revealed that 61 per cent of respondents were highly satisfied with the process of buying a car, representing a fall from 66 per cent in 2021 and 72 per cent in 2020. Some 70 per cent of new car buyers were satisfied while 58 per cent of used car buyers were satisfied.
The study pinpointed the time spent in the vehicle-buying process, limited inventory, and high prices as key factors that impacted the car-buying experience.
Read: Average New Car Prices Dip 0.6%, But Luxury Cars Take Larger Market Share
In particular, it was revealed that the typical buyer says the process of buying a vehicle took 14 hours and 39 minutes, a significant increase from the 12 hours and 27 minutes reported in 2021. Shoppers reported visiting an average of 4.9 websites during the process with some 79 per cent of people using sites including Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.
Cox Automotive notes that more than half of vehicle buyers in 2022 say limited inventory was a key driver of the increased time they spent researching and shopping online. Inventory issues also prompted shoppers to show less loyalty to dealerships and vehicle brands with some 37 per cent of new-vehicle buyers purchasing from a brand they haven’t in the past.
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The study also found that significantly more people pre-ordered a new vehicle to get the features they wanted. Indeed, nearly 1 in 5 new vehicle sales last year was a pre-ordered vehicle, an 89 per cent increase year over year.