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Gloucestershire Business News

Car buyers travelling further

An increasing number of car buyers are prepared to travel longer distances to get a new vehicle.

New consumer research from JudgeService shows that 80% are prepared to travel up to 29 miles to visit a dealership, compared to just 19 miles in 2017.

The firm urges dealers to increase their digital marketing reach to reach these potential customers.

The JudgeService Industry Report September 2021 identifies a link between the distance customers will travel and the use of the internet in their vehicle search.

Now 90% of dealer customers come from within 50 miles. Previously it was 33 miles.

Three-quarters of buyers who travelled up to 29 miles used the internet to research where to purchase their car, increasing to 84% for those travelling over 40 miles.

Neil Addley, managing director of JudgeService, said: "We can see that car buying habits are beginning to return to pre-pandemic norms, and this allows dealers to take the upper hand over the likes of online-only retailers like Cazoo and Cinch.

"Most buyers are going to search online for their vehicle of choice first and are then prepared to travel 30 or 40 miles to visit the dealership selling it. In terms of online marketing, this means the doughnut of geo-targeting dealers use needs to be extended to reach them."

To target local buyers he suggested sponsoring local sports teams or events, using supermarket car parks to show off electric options and even leaflet drops.

Addley added: "Dealers have the ability to attract customers to their showrooms, take part in test drives and offer safe personal interactions.

"This is particularly relevant now as consumers grapple with the complicated choice between ICE, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles: they need the high level of product expertise offered by the best dealers."

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