The internet is now the starting point for 53 per cent of car purchases, according to Alex Rose (pictured), Google’s UK industry manager for auto dealers, Google UK.
Rose said recent Google Gearshift research into car buying patterns showed that visits to dealerships only accounted for just over a quarter (26 per cent) of first destinations to go for information.
Rose said the rate of internet usage will accelerate with Google expecting online research to shortly account for 78 per cent of the first points of contact for car buyers.
“Eight out of 10 buyers will turn to the internet. Everyone’s online now,” he said.
Rose also said Google expects the rate of online car purchases to grow rapidly with CapGemini and CarsOnline research showing that 41 per cent of car buyers saying they were “likely” to purchase their next vehicle online, compared with just 20 per cent in 2007.
• Declining dealership footfall was a visible sign of the growth in internet usage
• The rate of car buyers visiting four or more dealers fell from 47 per cent in 2007 to 27 per cent in 2010
• Those visiting one dealership rose from 17 per cent in 2007 to 25 per cent in 2010
• One in five desktop searches are related to location
• One in three mobile searches are related to location