Auto consumers visit fewer dealerships today

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Gone are the days of driving from dealership to dealership to compare prices and ask questions. Many buyers show up on the lot today with research done and minds made up.

The internet makes it easier to shop for a lot of things.. including cars and trucks. Consumers aren’t necessarily adding a vehicle to their online shopping cart, but they’re spending more time scrolling and researching… then visiting the lot.

According to a new McKinsey report, the average buyer visits just one or two dealerships when looking for a car today, as opposed to 10 years ago when they shopped around at an average of five locations before making a selection.

One driver told 22News he got all his auto answers online when he was in the market for a new truck.

“Absolutely. I was on the lookout for a specific truck and by that time I knew what I wanted and then when I found it I bought it. It’s much easier now. You can make a lot better decisions by researching,” said Calvin Warner from Ludlow.

It may be the case for drivers looking to buy ‘new,’ but other auto enthusiasts aren’t looking for that convenience, or the most recent models. They’d prefer a hunt for something a little more classic.

“There’s car shows and swap meets and cruise nights. There’s always cars for sale. I just like them because I can still fool around with them. I can still work on them. The brand new ones you can’t touch. That’s half the fun for me,” said Donald O’Connor from Springfield.

But many consumers looking for something new now, haggle and hassle free- are turning to an unusual source: Costco. The big box store expects to sell 375,000 cars this year, by referring customers to local dealerships with the price and model they want.

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