Navigate sneak peek: Luxury buyers are 2.6x more likely to be buying their first vehicle ever

Posted by Madison Gross on September 27, 2019

Our Director of Consumer Insights, Madison Gross, provides a sneak peek into her research on today’s car-buying audience, which she’ll be sharing in-depth at Navigate in October.

Luxury vehicle sales have been consistently posting strong growth, and it turns out much of that growth may be attributed to first-time buyers, according to findings from the 2019 CarGurus Buyer Insights Report. About three in ten luxury car buyers said that before their most recent purchase, they had never bought a car.

Remember the headlines a few years back that Millennials were delaying buying a car? It seems that now that they’re ready to buy, they don’t want just any car, but rather an aspirational one. Our research found that first-time buyers in luxury are, on average, 29 years old. Additionally, among first-time buyers in luxury:

  • Seven in ten have kids under 18 in their homes.
  • Nearly half (45%) live in urban areas.

These buyers may be familiar with cars—over half (56%) consider themselves to be auto-enthusiasts—but they are not yet familiar with the car shopping process. Despite their inexperience, they’re less likely to do their homework or use online resources available to them, including dealer sites, before visiting a dealership. As a result, they go to the dealership less prepared than other car-buying segments. They are:

  • 9x more likely to admit they were unprepared for the trade-in.
  • 4x more likely to admit they were unprepared for the price negotiation.
  • 3x more likely to admit they were unprepared for the discussion of add-ons.

Luxury buyers are open to help though, especially from experts—69% say they rely on experts for advice when car shopping.

For dealers, it’s helpful to know that luxury buyers are often purchasing a car for the first time. With this audience, you have the opportunity to be a consultative seller and guide them through the shopping process. Earn their trust by helping them at each stage of the process and meeting them where they’re at.

Interested in learning more about luxury car buyers and other pockets of growth in the categories you care about most? We’ll be covering more insights like these at Navigate, a new kind of auto conference we’re bringing to you in Boston from October 22-23, 2019. Check out the full schedule of sessions and register today!

Topics: CarGurus events, data, industry insights, luxury, Navigate, trends