Back To Listing

Intending new car buyers search the internet

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). 12 months to December 2017, n= 5,653; 12 months to December 2013, n = 5,838. Base: Australians 14+ who intend to purchase a new motor vehicle in the next 4 years
It’s been known for some time that new car buyers use the internet as a source of information. New research from Roy Morgan shows that 67.6% of people intending to purchase a new motor vehicle in the next four years say that the internet is the most useful media for providing information on their purchase decision. The new research reveals the dominant role of internet search e.g. Google – 45% of new car buyers see search e.g. Google as the most valuable source of info, ahead of other websites, and well ahead of newspapers at 10.7%, television (5.4%) and magazines (4.1%).

These are some of the latest results from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey of over 50,000 consumers per annum, including over 5,000 new car intenders.

Internet makes major gains against all other media

Not only does the internet dominate the media considered to be the most useful source of information among new motor vehicle intenders but is the only one to have made gains over the last four years. Since 2013, the internet has increased its relevance as the most useful source of information among new vehicle buyers, with an increase of 10.1% points to 67.6%. Over the same period, newspapers suffered the biggest loss with a decline of 6.3% points to 10.7%, followed by magazines down 2.1% points (to 4.1%) and television down 1.9% points (to 5.4%).

Media Most Useful for Providing Information When Purchasing a New Motor Vehicle

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). 12 months to December 2017, n= 5,653; 12 months to December 2013, n = 5,838. Base: Australians 14+ who intend to purchase a new motor vehicle in the next 4 years

Internet search (e.g. Google) has been the main way information is sourced by new motor vehicle intenders with 45.6% followed by going directly to specific websites with 24.9%.

Generational differences need to be considered

Although all generations have their greatest preference for the internet as a source of new vehicle information, there are some differences across other media. The older generations, including ‘pre-boomers’ (aged 72+) and ‘baby boomers’ (aged 57-71) still consider newspapers to be relevant. Although the overall market preference for newspapers being the most useful source of information for vehicle intenders is only 10.7%, for ‘pre-boomers’ this rises to 23.2% and for ‘baby boomers’ they are also above average with 17.7%. By contrast, ‘millennials’ have the lowest preference for newspapers with only 3.3% compared to 74.6% for the internet.

Media Most Useful1 for Providing Information When Purchasing a New Motor Vehicle by Generations

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia) 12 months to December 2017, n = 50,000. Base: 5,653 Australians 14+ who intend to purchase a new motor vehicle in the next 4 years. Pre-Boomers: 72+, Baby Boomers: 57-71, Generation X: 42-56, Millennials: 27-41, Generation Z: 14-26. 1. Top two media only.

Television has a low overall average as an information source with only 5.4% and has its highest score among generation Z with 8.3%. Magazines remain relevant to the oldest generation (‘pre-boomers’) with 8.8% against a market average of only 4.1%.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan says: 

“This research highlights the importance of understanding media not just as a source of entertainment and general interest but as a valuable source of information applicable to specific decision making.

“The purchase of a new motor vehicle is a major decision that generally involves the need for more information than most other product areas. The internet is ideally suited to providing very detailed information for those intending to purchase a new vehicle, as shown by the fact that 67.6% of intenders consider it to be the most useful media for their decision making in this market. The dramatic rise in the use of the internet among new vehicle intenders is in contrast to the decline in the importance of newspapers which have fallen to only 10.7%.

“Although all generations have a preference for the internet as the most useful information source when purchasing a new vehicle, there is a need to understand generational and other differences across other media considered of value among intending buyers. The older generations for example still maintain an above level of interest in the printed material provided by newspapers and magazines.

“The widespread use of the internet to provide detailed information to intending car buyers gives them unprecedented ability to make well informed decisions, particularly when negotiating with dealers.

“The media and automotive data used here is only a small part of what is available from Roy Morgan Single Source that is relevant to this topic. The database has the ability to link extensive motor vehicle data with media and other data to provide valuable insights and long term trends in this highly competitive and significant industry.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com


About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2