Net is ‘most vital’ tool for car buyers

The internet is now the most important source of information for UK consumers looking for a new car. One in three British adults who have bought a car in the past six months have gone online to aid the decision-making process, according to new research.

The research was conducted by NOP on behalf of MSN Cars and MindShare’s digital agency, mOne. It found that on average, car purchasers spent 11 hours (58 per cent of the total hours spent on research) searching the Web, and more than half of those who used the internet as an information source agreed that information they found online had a significant impact on the decisions they made. Nearly half – 42 per cent – changed their mind about an aspect of their purchase as a result of their online research.

Amanda Anthony, digital marketing manager of, which commissioned the research, says: “This provides strong evidence for the marketing industry, proving the vital role digital marketing plays, especially when it comes to high-end purchasing.”

Renault UK internet marketing manager John Sinke adds: “Most major car manufacturers are now not only using the internet as a direct-response channel, but are using it more and more for creative brand campaigns.”

The internet is also the most popular media source of information for car buyers, followed by car magazines and then company brochures. When gathering information, the most popular sites are general motoring websites followed by car manufacturer sites and then car dealership sites.

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