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Evening multi-screening is the new norm.

Auto Trader’s latest research has shed further light on changing car-buying patterns, noting a rise in evening research, fewer forecourt visits and more customers arriving on site without having made any prior contact with sales staff.

The research has shown that tablets and mobiles now represent two-thirds of the overall traffic to the Auto Trader site and 86% of consumers now search for their next car after 6pm. While 58% of buyers are now turning up to dealer’s forecourts without making any prior contact, armed with information and ready to buy.

And exactly half of franchise customers visited only the dealer from whom they bought their car compared with 47% for supermarkets and 51% for independents. The decline in dealer visits contrasts with an increase in the number of referrals to online showrooms. Most people visit at least three as part of the buying journey, with the average standing at nearly five.


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