Skip to main content

How much longer will consumers keep buying cars at dealerships?

prodigy car dealership sales platform colorful cars in a lot
welcomia / 123RF Stock Photo
Do you like negotiating with car salespeople? There actually are some people who enjoy buying cars at auto dealers, but if you’re one of them, you’re in a minority. The 2016 Beepi Consumer Automotive Index, based on an online Harris Poll survey, found 87 percent of Americans dislike something about car shopping at dealerships and 61 percent feel they’re taken advantage of while there.

Harris conducted the survey of 2,135 U.S. adults 18 and older in April 2016, on behalf of the Beepi used car online peer-to-peer marketplace. The purpose of the survey was to find out how Americans feel about car ownership experiences, including traditional and newer buying alternatives. The survey also checked attitudes about autonomous vehicles.

According to the survey, 52 percent of car shoppers feel anxious or uncomfortable at dealerships. Millennials lead the pack in their dislike, with 56 percent saying they’d rather clean their homes than negotiate with a car dealer. Gen X-ers aren’t fans either, and faced with alternatives 24 percent say they’d rather have a root canal than get into car negotiation. Among millennial women, 62 percent feel pressured to buy right away and 49 percent said they felt tricked into buying features they didn’t need.

Of parents with children under 18, 80 percent “would rather do anything else unpleasant than negotiate with a dealership salesperson.” It doesn’t look much better with parents without younger children — 71 percent of those people would choose the “anything else” option over negotiating.

Beepi’s business model is based on facilitating the purchase of used cars, without test drives, directly from the car owners. Beepi serves as a marketplace that inspects, delivers, and backs the cars with a 10-day money-back guarantee. When the survey asked about newer car buying alternatives, 54 percent said they would “love” being able to sell or buy a car from home and 42 percent were fine buying a car without a test drive, as long as there was some form of guarantee.

Looking at future issues of automotive use and ownership, the survey, taken before a recent Tesla Autopilot fatality, found that 46 percent said they wouldn’t feel safe owning a self-driving car. When asked about driving alongside a self-driving car, 47 percent of American senior males (age 65 or older) said they’d be fearful, while only 38 percent of senior women said they’d be scared. Millennials in the survey saw a more positive impact from self-driving cars — one third said driving would be less stressful and one quarter thought they’d be more productive in the car.

The survey, as a result, supports Beepi’s intentionally disruptive used car sales model. “The stereotypical used car dealer is a caricature Americans have had to deal with for far too long,” explained Beepi senior automotive editor Alex Lloyd. “People don’t want to waste their weekends and be upsold when there is an easier, more transparent way to do things. This study helps us better understand what people want, so we can continue to improve the experience of buying, selling and leasing cars.”

Editors' Recommendations

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R1S: rugged electric SUVs, compared
Range of Mercedes-Benz G580 vehicles

Mercedes-Benz has finally unveiled the long-rumored and heavily teased electric G-Wagon. The new vehicle, officiallydubbed the "G580 with EQ Technology," retains the beloved design of the G-Wagon, but with an interior refresh and, more importantly, an all-electric powertrain. But the vehicle goes up against tough competition -- especially in the rugged electric SUV space. Perhaps the most-loved electric SUV so far is the Rivian R1S, a three-row SUV from a new startup that, for many, is the go-to option above a certain price range.

Now, of course, there are some big differences between the two vehicles. But is one better than the other? Here's a look at the Mercedes-Benz G580 and the Rivian R1S, head-to-head.
Design
The designs of these two vehicles is radically different, but they do have some similarities. They're both boxy and square, and are high enough off the ground to allow for some off-roading.

Read more
New Tesla feature opens the trunk automatically when your hands are full
Tesla's hands-free trunk.

Tesla owners with a massive teddy bear that needs to be given a ride can now open the trunk of their vehicle hands-free to get it in. A Tesla video highlighting the new feature shows a woman carrying an enormous teddy bear to her car, whereupon the trunk detects her presence and automatically opens. And no, it doesn’t only work for huge cuddly toys. The hands-free mechanism functions equally well if you’re carrying other objects like shopping bags, a large box, or a couple of suitcases.

https://twitter.com/Tesla/status/1788703259818856691

Read more
Waymo robotaxis now completing 50,000 paid trips a week
Waymo Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV

Waymo robotaxis are now completing more than 50,000 paid trips a week in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, according to a post on social media by the Alphabet-owned company.

The company has for several years had permission to operate its robotaxis without anyone behind the steering wheel, paving the way for paying passengers to enjoy their ride with no one else inside the autonomous car.

Read more