Six points about the customer journey under COVID-19 conditions
The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things in 2020, including the car market. While the new car market was down significantly on the previous year at just under 3 million units, the used car market withstood the crisis somewhat better, recording just over 7 million changes of ownership. This high figure demonstrates both the importance of car ownership as a form of individual mobility and the significance of the used car market itself.
Six key points about the purchase of used cars are analyzed below.
Test drives still a decisive factor – despite COVID-19: At 68%, test drives became the most popular offline source for the first time in 2020. Although there were fewer test drives overall – no doubt due at least in part to a fear of infection – the hygiene measures put in place by dealers managed to reassure customers, ensuring that in 2020 this touchpoint remained a very important way of gaining an impression of a car and its features. In general, dealers also became more relevant as a source of information (2019: 39%, 2020: 46%).
Newer vehicles – higher purchase prices: Purchases in 2020 consisted mainly of newer used vehicles with lower mileage (average age: 5.6 years; mileage: approx. 38,530 miles; newer and better equipped cars). As a result, used car buyers spent an average of EUR 14,730 on their used cars, more than ever before (+18% compared with the previous year).
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