CBB Reveals Insight Into Purchasing Habits

CBB Reveals Insight Into Purchasing Habits
Demographics reveal insight into Canadian vehicle purchasing habits. (Photo: Canadian Black Book)

Canadian Black Book (CBB) released results of its annual research, conducted by Ipsos, providing insight into changing demographics and behaviour.

The CBB study focuses on Canadian demographics, with how they shop, and their knowledge on vehicle shopping, buying, and ownership.

“As we dissect this research, we are finding some very telling statistics that we monitor from year to year, which help us understand developing trends and allow us to offer this information to the auto industry in Canada,” says Brad Rome, President at Canadian Black Book.

Vehicles ownership and leasing category demonstrate a wide gap between age groups. Only 48% of 18 to 34 years old own or lease a car, and 51% of that age group will most likely buy a new vehicle in the next 24 months (down four points from last year). These numbers reflect a growing trend to rely on ride-sharing with 12% claiming to trust evolving services. An overall 27% are involved in the ride-sharing movement.

In comparison, 77% of 55 years or older own or lease a car, with 53% of the 35-54 age group most likely to buy a new vehicle in the next 24 months, and 37% of 55 years or older most likely to do the same. Only 9% of those around 35 to 54 years old and 4% of those around 55 years old or higher are expected to use ride-sharing services.

About 29% of Canadians (three out of ten – a two-point increase from last year) would purchase vehicles online, without going into a dealership at all. This percentage can be further broken down into different categories:

  • males (36%) and females (24%)
  • Households with kids (40%) and households without kids (24%)
  • 18-34 years old (43%), 35-54 years old (30%) and 55 years or plus (16%)

Two out of ten Canadians are willing to reduce the number of vehicles in their households. This data can also be analyzed by age:

  • 18-34 years old (35%)
  • 35-54 years old (19%)
  • 55 years or plus (12%)

Surprisingly, the older generations (65% of 55 years or older) are more likely to use online car shopping tools, specifically trade-in value calculators, to research value. About 55% of 18-34 years old will use those tools.

There is also a wide gap in knowledge at trade-in time. Only 21% of younger buyers understood what their trade-in was worth in comparison to 40% of older generations. Due to this variation, 55-year-old or older are more likely (63%) to have already traded-in a vehicle compared to the younger generation (29%).

“This directly correlates to experience in the market and why the industry needs to treat these consumers differently, in how they market, sell and service them along the ownership journey,” says Brian Murphy, VP Research and Editorial at Canadian Black Book.

Also, the younger the vehicle owner is, the more likely they are to buy alternate energy vehicles. This category can be examined by age and gender:

  • Males (58%) and females (38) choose greener options (especially if fuel prices were to increase by $0.25)
  • 18-34 years old (58%), 35-54 years old (48%), and 55-year-old or more (40%).

Financing is considered in the research too, with 18-34 years old (32%), 35-54 years old (37%) and 55-years-old or more (23%) more likely to hold a loan. Of these percentages, 34% of males hold auto loans compared to 28% of females.

Income range and level of education directly influence the purchase decision of whether to buy a new or used vehicle. Those who intend to buy new cars are:

  • University educated and households making over $100k annually (65%)
  • Households earning less than $40k annually (36%)
  • Males (60%) and females (52%).

“Many of these trends might be what you would expect to see, however, seeing the actual numbers could serve as an eye opener and help determine strategies for OEMs and dealers moving forwards,” Murphy adds.

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