Car buyers in the U.K. are visiting more websites to check options before they decide to buy, according to new research from Motors.

Its 2024 Digital Touchpoints Survey of 3,000 people found buyers now visit an average of 4.2 motoring websites to research vehicles before they make a purchase, up from 3.5 in 2021.

Two-thirds of buyers, 66%, said that seeing a car advertised on multiple websites encouraged them to either make an enquiry on the website or visit a dealer’s showroom, compared to 60% in 2021.

The vast majority of buyers, 84%, said they used multiple websites to double check that the car they are interested in is priced consistently across different sources and 82% said they used the websites to check the car’s details were consistent.

Three-quarters said conducting these checks gave them confidence that a specific car was genuinely for sale and 71% said doing so makes specific cars stand out.

The survey also identified how car search websites dominate the initial search and shortlisting stages for buyers, before visits to dealerships become more important in the final decision-making stage prior to a purchase.

“Against a challenging economic backdrop, car buyers are understandably seeking more assurance by visiting multiple search platforms before committing to a purchase,” said Lucy Tugby, marketing director of Motors.

“The cost-of-living crisis and low consumer confidence are encouraging buyers to search wider, with our research showing how seeing the same car advertised on multiple search platforms helps to reassure them before reaching out to dealers.”

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