Used Vehicle Buyers Turning to the Net

More than one-quarter of used-vehicle buyers use the Internet for assistance during the shopping process, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates.

J.D. Power’s “Used Autoshopper.com Study” is based on nearly 10,000 responses from consumers who recently purchased vehicles from model years 1994-1999. The study found that used-vehicle buyers use the Internet to find a variety of information on cars and trucks, ranging from price to reliability to safety data.

“There are always risks associated with buying used vehicles, but the Internet provides easy access to the information people need to avoid buying a lemon,” said Chris Denove, director of consulting services at J.D. Power.

According to the study, the most popular site on the Internet for finding information on used vehicle pricing is Kelley Blue Book. Other popular sites include Consumer Reports, autobytel.com, Edmund’s Online, and Microsoft CarPoint. The study also found that 50 percent of Internet shoppers searched online classified Web sites in an effort to locate sellers of the exact vehicle they wanted.

“Despite the fact that online vehicle-locator sites are in their infancy, we were amazed to find that some of these sites already offer a wider selection of used vehicles than the typical newspaper classifieds,” Denove said. “The online locators are so versatile that they could one day make traditional newspaper classifieds obsolete.”

The study found that autobytel.com was visited most frequently for the purpose of locating used vehicles for sale. Auto Trader Online, Microsoft CarPoint, autoweb.com, and cars.com rounded out the top five sites in this area.

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