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November COVID-19 Sentiment Study reveals impact of pandemic on auto industry in 2020


For automotive (and almost every category), 2020 has been anything but normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help dealers navigate this unique selling environment, we’ve continued to share up-to-date information from our COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Studies, as well as relevant recommendations to help sell more cars.

3 key takeaways from CarGurus’ latest November research

  • Before the global health crisis, just 35% of car buyers said they were open to buying a vehicle online. Now, 60% are open to the idea (vs. 60% in June and 61% in April). However, many shoppers still value and miss the in-store experience —only 41% would prefer to buy online (vs. 19% pre-pandemic).
  • The pandemic will have a lasting effect on the way consumers shop for cars: Compared to June, fewer shoppers expect dealers to wipe down surfaces (58% Nov, down from 73% June) and more care about mask-wearing. 67% of shoppers expect employees to wear facemasks, up from 63% in June, and 61% of shoppers expect customers to wear facemasks, up from 52% in June.
  • As consumers emerge from lockdown, change travel plans, and reconsider what mobility will look like in the long-term, vehicles are becoming even more vital to everyday life — 47% say they expect to use their car for more road trips or long drives.

For more insights, download the November COVID-19 Sentiment Study.