Young adults in UAE are more likely than others to buy a car online: YouGov Study

Data from YouGov’s “International Automotive report 2021”reveals young adults in the UAE, between 25-34 years show the greatest incidence of past online car purchasing as compared to all other age groups.

YouGov’s International Automotive Report 2021 is a 17-market study that examines the demographics, behaviors, and preferences of automotive consumers and how digital transformation has changed traditional car ownership and buying behaviors.

To get a baseline of current purchase behavior, we asked our respondents how they made their last car purchase (new or used). Data reveals that the traditional path of buying, in person from a dealership, was the majority approach, comprising nearly three in five of respondents’ most recent global auto purchases. Only 16% of respondents globally said their last car purchase was made online (from a dealership or directly from owner).

Despite in-person dealerships playing a critical role in the car buying process globally, some markets have shown a greater appetite for online car buying. After China (35%) and India (31%), consumers in UAE (29%) are most likely to say they bought their previous vehicle online. These markets greatly outpace the global average (16%) and are far head of other developed economies like Europe (12%) and the US (9%) in terms of online car purchases.

Looking at prior online purchases by age cohorts, we find that the younger adults between 25-34 years show the greatest incidence of past online car purchasing as compared to all other age groups in UAE, APAC, and US. In fact, the online adoption curve for 25–34-year cohort in UAE is higher than the global average of 27%. It is not surprising to see higher online adoption among these buyers as they are digital natives and tend to be more engaged in e-commerce.

When it comes to future car buying behaviour, about three in ten consumers (31%) globally say they will consider buying their next vehicle online through dealership purchases. This is nearly twice as high as current online purchase incidence (16%), indicating that buyers are more open to taking the digital route in the future.

Among the 31% who say they will consider buying their next vehicle online, less than half (48%) said that they will exclusively shop online. The percentage of respondents saying this is much higher in the UAE, where more than half (56%) say they will exclusively shop online in the future, indicating a need for seamlessly connected in-person and digital experiences across the path to purchase.

The key to success thus lies in providing a flexible omni-channel experience to meet the demands of these prospective buyers.

Speaking about the paper, Suzanna Mitrovich, Global Sector Head, Automotive, YouGov said, “The automotive and mobility sector is going through a period of transformation, accelerated by digitalization enablement. Our report investigates how consumer attitudes have shifted during the pandemic, and which categories have changed as a result. It also provides an overview of mobility behaviors, examining what we should expect moving forward in a post-pandemic world.”

Download and read the full report here.