Irish motorists willing to buy a new car online without seeing it

Irish motorists willing to buy a new car online without seeing it

Half of Irish motorists are willing to buy a new car online without seeing it in person, according a new survey on the increasing changes to the car buying process.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an overhaul in the way we buy cars, according to a report by online car seller Carzone. It found that half of recent car buyers didnโ€™t test drive the car before purchase. Even used car buyers are willing to trust online, with 38 per cent saying they would pay for a used car in full online without seeing it in person.

However, two-thirds of buyers still opt to purchase from a dealership, while 60 per cent intend to return to the same car dealership in the future. The survey of 2,000 car buyers and over 150 dealerships found that 31 per cent change their car every two or three years.

While the Government is eager to move towards electric cars, 62 per cent say they will still opt for petrol or diesel vehicles as their next cars, 15 per cent plan to buy a hybrid while nine per cent are opting for electric vehicles.


With the Central Bank reporting significant growth in many household savings during the Pandemic, 65 per cent of car buyers said their budget for the next car had increased or remained the same.

The report also found that 69 per cent of motorists will use finance or a loan to buy their next car. Personal Contract Plans (PCPs) is the most popular form of finance at 34 per cent, followed by credit union loans at 24 per cent and hire purchase (HP) at 19 per cent.

Amid new car delivery delays due to a global shortage of microchips, 44 per cent of car buyers said they were willing to pay a premium for earlier delivery of the car they wanted.

New car sales

The report comes as latest figures from the motor trade show 2,646 new cars were registered in October, taking the total for the year so far to 103,253, a rise of 18.9 per cent on last year, but down 11.1 per cent on 2019.


Electric car sales are up 116 per cent on last year, with 8,342 registrations, making up 8 per cent of new car sales. Diesel still dominates the market with 34,723, ahead of petrol with 33,210. However, there has been a 60 per cent rise in regular hybrids, now accounting for 18,875 sales up to the end of October, while plug-in hybrids added a further 7,797 sales.

The best-selling car brand is Toyota with 12,728 registrations, ahead of Volkswagen with 12,469 and Hyundai with 10,692, according to figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (Simi). The best-selling car is Hyundaiโ€™s Tucson. The best-selling electric vehicles are Volkswagenโ€™s ID.4 and ID.3, followed by Kiaโ€™s e-Niro crossover.