In the current COVID-19 crisis environment, Cars.com is seeing more people considering buying a vehicle, as many view their car purchase as a much-needed escape and safe mode of transportation, said Cars.com editor-in-chief Jenni Newman.
“The good news is, consumers no longer have to leave their home to purchase a vehicle, as we’ve seen thousands of dealerships nationwide adopt digital buying practices such as virtual test drives and appointments and home delivery options,” Newman said in a news release.
Virus concerns and steep discounts on cars are motivating 33% of in-market Americans to buy a car this holiday weekend, and that is sooner than originally planned or predicted, according to a Cars.com survey taken this month.
Cars.com released its latest research on Wednesday showing that although 64% of Americans will not travel this Memorial Day weekend because of the crisis, 36% still plan on taking a trip.
And of those planning to travel, 75% will do so by car. They will take a short road trip closer to home and will probably abide by local safety guidelines.
What are the main motivators for shoppers considering a car purchase this weekend? Fifty-three percent said they desired something newer. Thirty-five percent said current deals “are just too good to pass up.” And 21% said they needed a replacement vehicle due to an accident or because their car broke down.
Cars.com said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect purchase timelines. Eighty-five percent of consumers said the virus has changed when they will buy. Sixty-two percent plan to act sooner than originally planned. Previous Cars.com research in March showed 43% of Americans are buying a car to avoid riding public transportation. Twenty-eight percent said that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they distrusted the cleanliness of others’ cars, such as with ride sharing services.
The Cars.com survey taken this month showed that 75% of the respondents planning on traveling will take a short, quick road trip this Memorial Day weekend.
Although most Americans are staying home because of COVID-19, the majority of the 36% of Americans who plan to travel this holiday weekend plan to drive 100 miles or less, and 57% will be away for a day trip or overnight.
Forty-three percent of holiday travelers plan to visit family or friends. But more beaches and recreation areas are beginning to safely open. Because of that, 27% of Americans are planning a beach trip. Twenty-two percent are planning a trip to state or national parks. Twenty-one percent are planning a camping weekend.
“Americans love the freedom and safety that personal car ownership provides, especially in the current environment,” said Newman of Cars.com.