Kicking more tires key to car-buying process, reveals autoTRADER.ca survey

Toronto, ON, March 11, 2014 — One in three Canadians surveyed is weeping over their wheels with a case of buyer’s remorse, according to the findings of a new study from autoTRADER.ca, which surveyed car purchasers across Canada about their opinions on the car-buying process and their vehicle purchase preferences.

The study, hosted on the Angus Reid Forum on behalf of autoTRADER.ca, found that while a majority of Canadians surveyed (66 per cent) come away from the purchase process with no regrets, a significant number aren’t as happy (33 per cent).  Respondents say they wish they had done more due diligence during the purchase of their most recent vehicle, including shopping around more, spending more time on research and considering their true driving needs, and making a detailed budget or list of vehicular expenses.

“It’s a significant number,” says autoTRADER.ca Director of Marketing Ian MacDonald. “Considering that more than 1.7 million cars were purchased in 2013, if one third of those buyers walked away less than perfectly happy about their purchase, that’s over half a million drivers who would have done things differently.”

According to the study, another third of Canadians surveyed —31 per cent—say they feel they overpaid for their most recent vehicle, while 45 per cent declare that they will change or re-prioritize what they are looking for the next time they go car shopping. One in five Canadians (19 per cent) say flat out that their vehicle did not meet initial expectations.

The study also revealed regional differences regarding Canadians’ car shopping preferences:

  • Ontarians appear to be the most prone to change, with almost half (49 per cent) saying their car needs will change the next time they look to purchase
  • Atlantic Canadians generally don’t mind “roughing it.” Only 37 per cent of car buyers in the Atlantic provinces are interested in comfort options the next time they go car shopping
  • BC and Alberta car shoppers are among the most research-heavy, with 91 per cent of respondents agreeing they had done as much due diligence as possible
  • Quebeckers are happiest with their cars’ handling ability—17 per cent (the lowest among all the regions, i.e. 20-28 per cent) said they were ever envious of a friend’s or relative’s car in the control / maneuverability department

“Drivers’ needs and wants will naturally change over time,” says MacDonald. “But there are things Canadians can do to mitigate regrets, including spending ample time researching comparable listings and owner reviews on autoTRADER.ca.” MacDonald adds that opinions from trusted mechanics, car reviewers, and a no-rush approach to the car buying process will help lead to finding the right car. “The key is not feeling pressured and taking as much time as necessary to arrive at a definitive decision before parting with hard earned dollars.”

For a list of tips on how best to approach the new and used car buying process, visit autoTRADER.ca

About the Study

From January 22 to January 23, 2014 an online survey was conducted among 1,508 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. Of these respondents, 1,276 have a license and have purchased a car in the past. The margin of error—which measure sampling variability—is +/- 2.5% on the full base and 2.7% on car purchasers, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure representative sample. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About TRADER Corporation

TRADER Corporation is a trusted Canadian leader in print and online media, managing automotive consumer marketplaces and publications. The company’s primary online destinations include: autoTRADER.ca™, autoHEBDO.net™, Autos.ca. autoTRADER.ca offers the largest inventory of new cars and used cars in Canada, available via our website and mobile applications. Visitors buy or sell cars, trucks or othermotorized vehicles quickly, easily and conveniently. Buyers can search based on vehicle model, make, colour and geographic location to find the deal that is right for them. Autos.ca is the online destination for auto enthusiasts, featuring car news and car reviews from well-known automotive journalists. Follow autoTRADER.ca on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on YouTube.