Electric vehicle buyers reported the highest satisfaction with the process last year. With 80% of new EV buyers saying they were “highly satisfied” with the process, buying an EV was reportedly much easier than an ICE vehicle.
EV buyers are happier with the process
Although overall satisfaction with the car buying process improved in 2023, it’s still down from its peak in 2020.
According to Cox Automotive’s annual Car Buyer Journal Study, 69% of customers were highly satisfied with the process. That’s up from 61% last year.
The number of highly satisfied buyers increased to 73% for new vehicles and 68% for used ones.
Electric vehicle shoppers were the most pleased with the buying process, with 80% reportedly being highly satisfied. The data shows customers leaned toward an omnichannel approach or a mix of online and in-store shopping.
Only 43% of car buyers completed in-store and online, yet 71% preferred the approach. Meanwhile, 21% said it would be best for an entirely online process, while only 8% prefer all in-person.
EV buyers are well ahead of the trend, with 69% saying they used an omnichannel approach. That’s much higher than ICE vehicle buyers at 39%.
Another 16% of EV shoppers bought entirely online, and 15% in person. A big reason buyers prefer the approach is because it’s quicker and more efficient.
New EV buyers were most satisfied in this regard, with 77% saying they were highly satisfied with the time required. New ICE vehicle buyers that were highly pleased with the time dropped to 59%.
The study reveals how EV buying is speeding up the process with new tools and tech. New EV buyers spent less than 11 hours in total, about an hour less than those buying new ICE vehicles.
With Tesla accounting for over half of US sales last year, the study is heavily swayed by its sales approach. If you’ve bought a Tesla, you know how easy it is.
Top comment by Grant
Tesla has opened up a test drive area near me in NC because we are pretty far from a Tesla dealership (or whatever we call them). So you can test drive a car all with the app, including scheduling a date and time. The process is completely without seeing any salesperson. You get the car for an hour and return it to the lot. So yeah, I think that is way better than any experience I’ve had at a stealership.
A big reason for this is that Tesla doesn’t use a dealer system. There is no haggling at the dealership, you get what you see. This cuts down on the time and frustration of going to a dealership.
Legacy automakers, like Ford, are looking to streamline the dealer process to keep pace with Tesla. Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, said the company needs to lower costs, increase profits, and deliver a superior customer experience to compete.
He explained Ford is still “betting on the dealers.” Farley said Ford is not going direct, but “we need to specialize.” Others are taking similar approaches.
What do you guys think? Is buying an EV easier? Let us know your experience in the comments.
Author: Peter Johnson