Younger drivers are most diligent in their research when it comes to buying a new car, according to new research. The study of more than 1,500 people who bought a car in the past 12 months found younger drivers aged 18-24 took an average of seven weeks to make their purchase – much longer than their peers.

The study by Car Gurus found that while 18-24 year old buyers felt the urgency of their purchase was the greatest of any age group, they were still willing to wait the longest and conduct the most research. Buyers in that age group were also the most likely to visit multiple sellers before making a purchase, with 53 percent taking that course of action. In comparison, just 34 percent of respondents aged 55 to 65 did the same.

Young drivers were also less likely to be certain of the type of vehicle they would buy, with just 43 percent heading to the dealers with a particular vehicle in mind. Across all ages, 63 percent said they knew exactly what kind of car they would look for.

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Those aged 18-24 were also more open-minded about the make of vehicle they would buy, with just 29 percent saying they knew in advance, and they had less conviction when it came to budget, with just 35 percent having a set price limit. More than half (51 percent) of so-called Generation Z buyers also said they were unsure as to whether they would purchase a car outright or buy on finance.

And once younger buyers found their way into a dealer, nine in 10 (89 percent) said they were carrying out last-minute research on their mobile phones. In comparison, just 57 percent of 40-54-year-olds did the same, and that number dropped to 37 percent among 55-65-year-olds.

Responding to the results of the survey, Madison Gross, the director of customer insights at CarGurus, said ‘Gen Z’ buyers were more open-minded about their purchases than their elders, but they remained well-informed.

“CarGurus’ Next Generation of Car Buyers study has clearly demonstrated that Gen Z buyers are entering the market with less certainty and more open-mindedness toward their purchase than any other generation,” she said. “Despite Gen Z’s openness on car-buying decisions, they are well-informed.

“They show the greatest use of online resources as they research and shop around for what is likely the biggest purchase of their lives to-date. Younger buyers also value authenticity and transparency in a business, so sellers should ensure pricing is consistent across channels to appeal to these buyers.”

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