Posted August 18, 2014 5:06 pm by with 1 comment

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Thinking about buying a new car? A generation ago, you would have influenced by a TV commercial, then you’d spread out the newspaper to help you hone in on the right car at the right price. Final step – it’s off to the local dealership to buy the car of your dreams.

That last step is still the same, but a new survey from AutoTrader says that the new generation – the Millennials – have abandoned TV ads and newspapers in favor of the internet.

AutoTrader Infographic

What’s really interesting is that 70% of Millennials begin the car shopping process without a clue as to what make or style of car they want. They go online and start the process and spend an average of 17.6 hours “shopping”. That’s two hours longer than the average car buyer.

Once they’ve narrowed down their choices they’re “significantly less likely” to change their minds when they get to the dealership.

Think about that. What they saw on the internet took them from “I have no idea what I want” to “I know and you can’t make me change my mind” in 17 hours. That’s power and I imagine this behavior isn’t exclusive to car buyers. Millennials are researchers. They know how to find the information they want and they know better than to trust the first site they hit. They look at reviews. They compare features and prices. The one thing they don’t do is consult social media.

Only 5% of Millennials and only 1% of all buyers consult social sites when shopping for a car. 78% even went so far as to say that it wouldn’t matter to them if a brand didn’t even have a social media presence.

The Mobile Millennial

The AutoTrader survey shows a huge shift toward multiple device shopping. A year ago, only 23% of car buyers said they use 2 or more devices to shop for a car. In 2014, that rose to 32%. This is mostly due to the fact that Millennials are replacing Boomers as the largest car buying contingent. And Millennials, as well know, see their mobile phones as an extension of their arms.

AutoTrader Infographic 2

Because of the Millennials, PC usage is on the decline. Now, half of all Millennials use a smartphone to shop for a new car this is up from only 34% a year ago. At this rate, the PC will be out of the picture by 2017.

My prediction, by 2020 we’ll be buying our cars on I’ll take that blue Ferrari, please. And can you ship it  fast and free with Amazon Prime? I’ll be waiting.


  • Wow, I love the Millennials sometimes.