How do the French get information before buying a car?

The French trust the advice of their loved ones as much as that of dealership salespeople before buying a car according to the latest study carried out by Nielsen Media.

After three devastated years, largely due to the Covid-19 crisis, the French automobile market regained color last year. In 2023, the number of new vehicles has finally reached similar levels to pre-crisis figures. Sales to individuals are clearly increasing (+18% vs 2022), even if we must take into account the year 2022 as being theone of the worst years for the automobile market French has known. This year, according to the latest study carried out by Nielsen media for the account by Autoheroit is near 27% of French people who intend to purchase a new vehicle. For some of the rest of the respondents (34%), they are considering a purchase rather within two to three years. But the study also informs us of other interesting behavior before purchase among individuals in France.

Do the French trust their loved ones or sellers?

According to the study carried out on behalf of Autohero, leader in second-hand online sales in Europe, many French people trust their loved ones! When it comes to purchasing a new vehicle, the first instinct of the French is not to immediately go to a dealership. In reality, buyers trust their family and friends as much as they trust dealership salespeople. The two choices arrive tied in the poll at 39%. Elsewhere in Europe, the answers are far from being the same. And the French seem to trust their loved ones less than potential buyers from other countries. In Germany and Italy the latter trust their friends and family even more (48% and 45% respectively). They also trust car manufacturers’ websites more (36% of votes).

What are the differences in purchasing habits between men and women?

The differences between men and women when it comes to the process of purchasing a new vehicle are significant. The study highlights, for example, notable differences in the preferred sources of information consulted before making a purchase. A little less than half (43%) of the women surveyed prefer to physically visit the dealerships And get advice from sellers when looking for a new car compared to only 35% of men. For their part, men rely more on the advice of their friends and family (39%). They also visit dealerships (35%), and place information found on Google in third position (27%).

Buyers rarely consult specialized sites

As surprising as it may seem, the French seem reluctant to use automotive media as a source of information. Statistics reveal that a small percentage of them turn to printed car magazines (14%), specialized online media (16%), or even TV shows dedicated to cars (11%) for information before a purchase. Another surprising fact is that videos on social media also don't seem to be a popular option for getting information about car buying. Platforms such as YouTube (13%), Instagram (9%), Tiktok (9%) and Pinterest (5%) seem to be neglected for serious information before making a purchase.

What are the selection criteria before buying a vehicle?

Not surprisingly, the price remains the main criterion for the purchase of a car. It's the case for 77% of respondents. Then it is the condition of the vehicle which comes second (64%). Half of the French people surveyed are also interested in warranty conditions included in the purchase price (50%) and 40% by trade-in of their old vehicle. The Nielsen Media study also highlights information relating to second-hand market. According to the survey, nearly one in three French people plan to choose a Used Vehicle. And it’s still a matter of price! 63% of respondents say that the opportunity displays better value for money than new. 68% of the youngest (18-34 year olds) think so, compared to 59% of 35-64 year olds. Finally, a third of all potential French used car buyers think thatsecond-hand is a way to access more high-end brands or models compared to buying a new car.

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