Friday, October 12th, 2012
There are currently nearly 2.3 million Australians in the market for a new car in the next four years, of which 52.1% nominate the Internet as the most useful source of information when purchasing a new car. This moves the Internet even further ahead of Newspapers, which have been steadily declining over recent years but have now stabilised at around 20.7%.
All other channels have also declined at the expense of the internet, especially magazines and the Yellow Pages.

Media most useful when purchasing a new car

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 1999 – July 2012 New Car Intenders (n = 80,264).

Importantly, the closer a consumer gets to the time of intended purchase, the more likely they are to be using the Internet for vehicle-related activities.  More than 70% of people in the market for a new car in the next month have been seeking information online, according to the latest Roy Morgan Automotive Currency data.  A final check of vehicle features is the most popular online activity among those about to purchase a new car.

The most popular general automotive websites are, and  Among New Car Intenders, visiting these websites peaks in the year prior to purchase.  Carsales leads the way, with around one third (33.1%) of those in the market for a new car in the next six months visiting the website, followed by Carsguide (22%) & Drive (12%.).

Total used the Internet for vehicle-related activities

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), June 2011 – July 2012 (n = 53,600). *NCI = New Car Intenders

Jordan Pakes, Account Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The Internet is still increasing its lead ahead of all other medium as the single most useful source of information for intending car buyers.

“Importantly for manufacturers, this result varies by age with the gap between Internet & Newspapers much closer for those aged 50+ and wider for the under 50’s – in particular the 25-34 year old group with only 7% nominating Newspapers as the most useful source of information. For manufacturers looking to position their various models with consumers both young and old, it is essential they bear this in mind when choosing their media mix around the consumer’s ‘path to purchase’.

“Among those intending to purchase in the short term, the difference between those under & over 50 remains much closer, suggesting that although there might be a higher proportion of older consumers nominating Newspapers as the single most useful source, they are also going online prior to purchase.

“In terms of what they are doing online, ‘researching finance options’ peaks around 12 months prior to purchase, ‘locating a dealer’ & ‘checking prices’ at the 3 month mark, and a last minute ‘check of vehicle features’ the most popular for those closest to purchasing.”

Contact Profile

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.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


Automotive, Cars, Buying Intention, Auto



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