One Year Into COVID-19 Pandemic Fears of Virus Take a Back Seat to Financial Concerns While Vehicle Shopping

SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE), the most efficient and transparent online destination to find a car, released the eighth wave of its study into the impact of the pandemic on vehicle shopping and vehicle shoppers' needs, one full year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

TrueCar Study on the Effects of COVID-19 on Vehicle Shopping One Year Into the Pandemic (March 2021)

"At the pandemic's one year milestone, vaccinations have accelerated and warmer Spring weather is allowing for more outdoor activity.  So, it's no surprise that we're seeing somewhat less concern over COVID-19 transmission while vehicle shopping. Instead, we're seeing financial concerns emerge as stronger purchase deterrents, possibly reflecting the return of less affluent shoppers to the market," said Wendy McMullin, Head of Research and Consumer Insights at TrueCar.

"That said, consumers still want to do more of the car buying experience outside the dealership, a trend we expect to continue even after the pandemic," added McMullin.

Highlights from the Study Include: At the time of fielding this study over 70 million Americans (approximately 1/3 of U.S. adult population) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19's Effect on Vehicle Shopping: 

  • More consumers than any prior wave indicated that their vehicle needs have increased as a result of the pandemic (29%).
  • More consumers than any prior wave indicated that they would purchase a less expensive vehicle (23%).
  • Interest in vehicle delivery has steadily climbed throughout the pandemic peaking in this wave (17%).

Factors that Encourage Dealership Interaction:   

  • Retailing activities outside the dealership (configuring deal online, at home test drive, complete entire purchase online) remain the top three factors to encourage dealership interaction.

Delaying Vehicle Purchase due to the Pandemic:

  • Remains steady with the fewest consumers intending to delay their purchase within waves 6-8 of our study (11/21/2020, 1/17/2021, 3/12/2021).

•  Factors that Would Deter Vehicle Purchase:

  • Concerns about potentially diminished income in the future are a top factor to deter vehicle purchase (35%); 30% cite lower income now as a concern.
  • Meanwhile the dealership not having the vehicle consumers wanted reached its peak (35%), an increase of 46% since July 2020.
  • Threat of catching or spreading COVID-19 while shopping reached its lowest point during our study series (31%).

"One year later, we're still witnessing the downstream effect of automaker manufacturing plant closures. This has reduced the number of new cars on dealer lots which means fewer model and trim options for car buyers," said Nick Woolard, Lead Industry Analyst at TrueCar.

"This helps explain why over a third of consumers indicated that not having the car they want on the dealer lot is delaying or deterring their car purchase, impacting the demand side of the market," added Woolard.

Media Assets can be found here

Study fielded on 3/12/21 with a sample size of 1,200 (U.S. COVID-19 daily cases 65,800, U.S. COVID-19 daily deaths 1,333)

About TrueCar
TrueCar is a leading automotive digital marketplace that enables car buyers to connect to our nationwide network of Certified Dealers. We are building the industry's most personalized and efficient car buying experience as we seek to bring more of the purchasing process online. Consumers who visit our marketplace will find a suite of vehicle discovery tools, price ratings and market context on new and used cars – all with a clear view of what's a great deal. When they are ready, TrueCar will enable them to connect with a local Certified Dealer who shares in our belief that truth, transparency and fairness are the foundation of a great car buying experience. As part of our marketplace, TrueCar powers car-buying programs for over 250 leading brands, including AARP, Sam's Club, and American Express. Nearly half of all new-car buyers engage with TrueCar powered sites, where they buy smarter and drive happier. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in Austin, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts.

For more information, please visit www.truecar.com, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. TrueCar media line: +1-844-469-8442 (US toll-free) | Email: pr@truecar.com 

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SOURCE TrueCar, Inc.

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