Added: 08 August 2018

Motorists aged between 25-34 are most likely to buy a car via an app, according to the results of a survey from automotive data company HPI.

Only 19% in this age range appear to have ruled out buying a new car in this way, while 26% said they wouldn’t consider an app purchase of a used vehicle.

13% of those questioned had already bought a new or used car online without viewing it first. Furthermore, while almost two thirds of those who bought online had no worries about doing so, more than a third said they had reservations yet still went ahead with the ‘blind’ purchase anyway.

“It's easy to see why consumers feel quite relaxed about buying a car without seeing it first,” Fernando Garcia, a consumer expert at HPI, said.  “Virtually all car manufacturers have an approved used scheme in place that allows consumers to buy a car with a long warranty, often providing the same peace of mind as a new car.

“The faith in these schemes is illustrated by the responses to our research.  Of those who would buy a car without trying it first, the majority would feel the most comfortable if the app was created by an official dealer or car manufacturer.  If the app was developed by a third-party company, that peace of mind would be much less evident.”

The survey revealed that for men vs women’s’ buying habits, the results varied considerably.  For example, a quarter of men had no worries about buying a new car without viewing it prior to buying, even paying for the vehicle before they’d got the keys.  The figure was lower for men buying used cars unseen (14%).  In contrast, 14% of women had no qualms about buying a new car unseen and parting with the cash compared with 9% for used cars.

When it came to making the same purchase via a mobile app, 35% of men said they would buy a new car in this way without viewing it before payment and 18% for a used car.  For women, 22% would buy a new car through an app without viewing it first and 12% for a used car in this way.

Fernando Garcia added: “This research shows that we are changing the way we buy.  Although men and women do have some concerns about buying a car via a mobile app, it would appear that in time it is something they would be prepared to do.  Buying vehicles via mobile apps as is done routinely for more everyday items allows for much greater freedom and flexibility.”