There are almost 253 million vehicles on the road in the U.S.
88% of car buyers use the internet to shop for an auto
78% of people shopping for cars use third-party sites or apps during the car buying process
The Way People Shop for Auto-Related Businesses Has Changed
According to IHS Automotive, the number of vehicles on the road in the U.S. has reached a record level of almost 253 million. This is a level that the auto industry hasn’t seen in the U.S. since 2004-05. What does this mean to auto dealers and mechanics? This record number of vehicles means a lot of customers reading automotive online reviews to find the best places to buy new and used cars. It also means that the people who own any type of vehicle also need to find mechanics and auto repair shops to fix and repair their vehicles.
With all this online research going on, having your auto-related business listed on online local directories and online review sites is crucial! Here’s why…
Car Buying Behaviors and the Internet
The way people buy cars has changed — thanks to the internet! As people shop for new or used cars, they spend more and more time researching their options online. Google actually watched the online research behavior of one car shopper. Of the online research this customer did, her searches, visits, video views and clicks were on Google, YouTube, manufacturer websites, dealer websites and auto review websites.
Throughout the car-buying process, there are a variety of micro-moments that occur with the shopper:
For most of these moments, the internet is used to find information and answers to these important car buying questions.
According to the 2016 Car Buyer Journey* survey:
- Of the time spent in the car buying process, 60% (5 hours and 12 minutes) of time is spent using third-party websites or apps to research and shop
- 88% of car buyers use the internet to shop for an auto
- 78% of people shopping for cars use third-party sites or apps during the car buying process
- 71% of consumers say they purchased the vehicle they initially intended to purchase once they visited a dealership
- When starting the shopping process, 6 out of 10 consumers say they are open to considering vehicles across makes and models
Jared Rowe, president of Cox Automotive Media, said “Dealers have less than a 30% chance of changing a purchase decision once a customer is on the lot.” This means that by the time people show up to the dealership, they already know what type of vehicle they want to buy. These internet researchers are more confident in their automotive buying decisions. In fact, 38% of car buyers only visit one dealership and 52% only test drive one vehicle.
Get Listed on Auto and Car Review Sites
Getting your business listed on online review sites is a great way for customers to leave reviews about how much they love your business. Additionally, according to our recent Local Consumer Review Survey Research, getting reviews from your happy customers has many benefits:
- 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business
- Positive reviews make 68% of consumers more likely to use local businesses
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars
Best Auto and Car Review Sites
With so much information available online, where do you look for the most trusted auto and car reviews? Fortunately, we’ve done all of the research for you and below you will find the best review sites:
One of the more popular categories of online review sites is car dealers. There is also a handful of high-quality review sites that focus on consumer reviews for auto traders.
|Auto Car Dealers||18||UK||Paid|
|Local Car Dealerships||13||USA||Free|
Another section within the auto industry is mechanics. The list below focuses on review sites for auto repairs.
|4 Road Service||25||USA||Free/Paid|
|Local Auto Restoration||12||USA||Free|
|Local Auto Painting||10||USA||Free|
*About the 2016 Car Buying Journey Survey: According to the 2016 Car Buyer Journey survey, commissioned by Cox Automotive through IHS Automotive, was conducted to understand consumer car-shopping behavior. A total of 2,131 car buyers (1,283 New and 848 Used) who purchased a vehicle within the 3 months between March and May of 2015 completed a survey.