AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —The global pandemic has drastically changed ‘business as usual’ across the board for multiple industries; how people buy cars is no exception. Recently, Cars.comTM revealed its top trends that will have the most lasting impact on car shoppers in 2021.
On January 7, Kelsey Mays of Cars.com will discuss three car buying trends for 2021, how the pandemic accelerated digital car buying and altered consumer expectations, and share insight into the future of car shopping.
● New Virtual-First World Places a Premium on Car Ownership: As consumers spend more time than ever at home, they are placing a much higher value on the freedom and safety personal car ownership provides. The pandemic has inspired a new group of first-time car buyers to enter the market, with 20% of Americans who didn’t previously own a car now consider purchasing one due to safety and health concerns surrounding public transportation and ride-sharing. Even as consumers return to life outside of the house, the primary mode of transport will continue to be the car. Plus, the reported influx of Americans moving away from larger cities creates a ripple effect for first-time car buyers.
● From Local Dealer Lots to Americans’ Driveways: Vehicle Home Delivery Catches On Quick: The stay-at-home economy continues to thrive, triggering growth in home delivery across multiple industries – including auto. Local dealerships offering home delivery services rose 35% within the first six months of the pandemic as more consumers opted for contactless purchasing and delivery options. Cars.com found 61% of recent car buyers said they would want their newly purchased car delivered at home from their local dealership. And usage of digital tools in automotive also soared as online chat, virtual retailing, video appointments and virtual test drives took center stage.
● Affordability Crisis Puts Drivers in Their Cars for Longer Periods of Time: The pandemic’s financial impact hit consumers hard. When manufacturing plants were forced to close, the shortage of vehicles led to supply and demand challenges in the industry, increasing the cost of used and new cars throughout 2020. While inventory shortages are still in play, the financial challenges will remain as loan terms get longer and consumers struggle to keep transportation costs within their household budgets amid economic uncertainty. In fact, in December 2020, the majority of shoppers on Cars.com (72%) were shopping for cars under $20,000.