Despite Reliable Vehicle, Consumers Still 'Want Something New'

By: AAA Release
By: AAA Release

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 08, 2010) —

Americans love new cars, so much so that even with a 9.6 percent national unemployment rate and a reliable vehicle, the majority of future buyers (62%) still want something new. Even those who purchased a vehicle in the past two years (40%) said they too had a reliable vehicle, but wanted a new ride, according to a AAA Consumer Pulse survey fielded in October. See attached, for full survey results and state percentages.

Interestingly, respondents seem to think their car buying options are limited. The number one source respondents plan to use when shopping for a new vehicle is the dealership (70%) with 60 percent who “prefer face-to-face interactions.” Yet, 44 percent cited “I do not like dealing with salespeople” as their highest rated concern when shopping for a vehicle.

The other top concerns respondents stated when shopping for a vehicle are: “vehicles lose value too quickly” (31%), and “I do not think I will get a good deal” (26%).

“It sounds like respondents are unaware of their car buying options,” said Jill Perry, director, AAA Financial Services. “An online car buying service not only limits the interactions with salespeople, but also ensures the consumer gets the best deal possible. The average person saves approximately $4,356 off a new car’s Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) when they use an online car buying service.”

Despite the savings, only half of future buyers (51%) plan to use an online car buying service and of those, only 28 percent plan to use the service to actually buy a vehicle. The majority of those who do plan to use an online car buying service, mainly use it to compare prices (93%), models (75%), and make (54%).

Online car buying services also provide the buyer with no-haggle pricing which gives the consumer the upper hand when purchasing a vehicle. The majority of respondents (58%) prefer or strongly prefer no-haggle pricing when purchasing a vehicle, yet many may not know how to get no-haggle pricing.

“An online car buying service not only allows you to compare prices, make and model, but allows the consumer to see which local dealerships carry the vehicle and which have recently sold the vehicle for the lowest price,” said Perry. “The perception seems to be that with an online car buying service you actually have to buy the vehicle online and that makes some consumers nervous. But instead, the consumer prints the lowest, guaranteed price and takes it to the dealership where they then purchase the vehicle.”

AAA’s online car buying service provides consumers with everything they need to not only find the vehicle that is right for them, but also guarantees they will get the lowest price possible without the hassle of traveling from dealership to dealership. Visit for more details.

AAA Auto Club South has 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee and PuertoRico.Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

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