Westlake Village, California – Internet shopping has reached parity with visits to dealer lots as the primary method for used-vehicle buyers to locate used vehicles, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Used-Vehicle Market Report released on Thursday.

The report found that the percentage of used-vehicle buyers who rely on the Internet as a method for locating vehicles for sale has increased from 40 per cent in 2008 to 46 per cent in 2009 – equal to the percentage of buyers who visit dealer lots as their primary shopping method. Furthermore, 31 per cent of buyers found the vehicle they ultimately purchased on the Internet, compared with 28 per cent of buyers who found their vehicle by visiting dealerships.

“Internet shopping provides prospective buyers with the opportunity to search through enormous amounts of specific vehicle information without ever leaving home, allowing for a more efficient medium of matching buyers with unique used vehicles in the market,” said Arianne Walker, director of marketing and media research at
J.D. Power and Associates. “In light of this, dealers should expect the Internet to continue to increase in importance among used-vehicle shoppers and adjust their online presence accordingly.”

The report also finds that awareness of certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle programs is strong, with more than 60 per cent of used-vehicle buyers indicating they intend to purchase certified pre-owned vehicles at the start of their shopping process.

The 2009 Used Vehicle Market Report is based on the self-reported shopping habits of 10,328 used-vehicle buyers. The study was fielded from July to August 2009.

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