The proportion of new car intenders who prefer to do their research online has grown enormously over the last decade, overtaking those who prefer using the newspaper for this purpose in early 2009. In the year to July 2013, 48.7% named the internet as the most useful media for automotive research (up from 10.2% a decade earlier), while 20.0% named newspapers (down from 44.0%).
Media most useful when purchasing a new car
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), February 2002 – July 2013 (n = 8,530); *NCI = New Car Intenders
As new car intenders get closer to buying their vehicle their internet research increases. In the 12 months preceding purchase, 64.7% of new car intenders go online to locate dealers, contact manufacturers and compare specs and prices — up from 50% at the 12–18 month point.
Total used the internet for vehicle-related activities
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), September 2012 – August 2013 (n = 655). *NCI = New Car Intenders
Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:
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“The internet continues to be the most important channel for consumers in the market for new cars, with 48.7% nominating it as the media most useful for researching their purchase.
“However, as the average age of new car intenders is close to 50, traditional media such as newspapers shouldn’t be discounted as a marketing medium by auto dealers and manufacturers. Indeed, one in four people intending to buy a new car are motivated to visit specific websites because of something they came across in traditional media.
“As consumers approach the point of purchase, their internet research intensifies. At 7 to 12 months out, they seek out dealerships, check prices and vehicle features — all of which they then repeat in the last month before buying. In the last few months, they also investigate financing options and communicate with manufacturers/dealers.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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