How Technology is Influencing the Way Consumers Buy Cars

eBay News Team

eBay advertising survey reveals behavioral shifts in online car buying

President’s Day is just around the corner which means car dealerships are advertising their weekend sales in an effort to drive consumers through their doors. Today, eBay Advertising released results from its two-part consumer automotive survey1 to take a deeper look at the car buying process. Overall, our findings concluded that technology is enabling consumers to research and purchase cars online more than ever before –  transforming the automotive purchase journey.

Social promo image Auto 1.jpg

Additional key findings include:

  • 63 percent of consumers are extremely likely/ likely to purchase a car online in the future.
  • Twice as many men as women have purchased cars online, citing reasons such as convenience, low prices, variety and having access to more options.
  • eBay Motors buyers prefer customer and professional reviews over informational dealership visits.2
  • Women are more likely than men to keep their vehicle until it dies.

“Technology continues to evolve the automotive shopping journey,” said Josh Wetzel, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at eBay Advertising. “Consumers are already executing pre-purchase activities related to online research with increased interest in online automotive experiences. As more consumers continue to embrace automotive ecommerce for vehicles; enhanced experiences and technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence will continue to drive a larger shift to online purchasing.”
Social promo image Auto 2.jpg

Despite the growth in mobile devices and social media, after the vehicle purchase is made, many still prefer a face-to-face revelation of the good news; 71 percent of respondents say they’d tell their friends and family in person, rather than over the phone, text, or social media.

On-and-Off Road Insurance: Reality and Fantasy

Insurance proved to be an important part of the automotive purchase journey. The survey results reveal that two in three consumers research insurance providers during the automotive purchase process, with the majority conducting their research online. When respondents were asked what they would be willing to do to reduce their insurance costs, the top three responses were:

  • Drive more carefully (72%)
  • Drive a more conservative car (59%)
  • Upgrade my security system (57%)

When they were given the option to insure anything in their personal lives aside from their homes, cars, etc., the top three responses were:

  • My personal identity
  • My relationship with my significant other
  • My career

As we continue into 2017, we expect to see technology as a driver in the automotive industry – both from a vehicle feature standpoint and a consumer usage standpoint. 


eBay Advertising executed a two-part survey consisting of a general consumer survey1 and eBay Motors advertising data. 2 eBay Advertising surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 65+ who had purchased a vehicle in the last six months. The company also analyzed eBay Motors data based on approximately 1,000 consumers who had either made purchases from the ‘cars & trucks’ category on eBay Motors, or who had browsed through eBay Motors in 2016.

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