There is a commonly held belief among auto marketers that by the time a perspective car buyer steps onto a lot, they’ve already made up their minds. Some sources have echoed this data point, claiming that the average buyer visits 1.6 auto dealerships while car shopping, down from 10 years ago when buyers visited an average of five dealerships. While other sources believe that the average number of consumer visits to a dealership before buying a car has dropped to just one for some brands in  some geographies.

Based on UberMedia’s large-scale, first-party mobile data pool and our unique ability to synthesize real-world location and behavioral data, we believe there is still a large segment of the car buying population that does visit multiple dealerships to test drive car brands, cross-shop, and make the most informed purchase decisions.

Key Takeaways

  • 41% of new car buyers visit one dealership, but 59% visit an average of up to 5 dealers
  • People add an average of 2.2 new brands to their shortlist when they enter the active consideration phase
  • Brands that are cross-shopped also tend to be mass market manufacturers with multiple models and larger dealer networks