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Covid-19 Pandemic Forces Buyers to Reduce Vehicle Budget, Look for Used Car Options: Survey

Representative image.

Representative image.

The CNBC survey was conducted on sample size of around 10,000 respondents across the country gathering interesting data about vehicle buying decision. Here are the key takeaways from the survey.

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In a survey conducted by CNBC under the #CNBCTV18ConsumerConfidenceTracker, majority of buyers who were planning to buy a new vehicle this year have responded to either putting their buying decision on hold, or have reduced the budget if they go ahead with the buying process this year only. The respondents are also actively looking to buy a used car rather than a new one.

The survey was conducted on a sample size of around 10,000 respondents across the country gathering interesting data about the vehicle buying decision amid the Covid-19 hit automotive market of India. Here are the key takeaways from the survey

1) On vehicle buying decision this year:

A good 64% of respondents say that their plans to buy a vehicle this year have been affected because of COVID-19, with 25% among them putting off their purchase this year. Among the latter, about 65% of them are fully employed. Only 17% of people say their plans to buy their preferred vehicle this year have not altered.

Youngsters in the age group of 18 to 30-years make up the majority of those who have cancelled their plans for a two-wheeler (57%) and four-wheeler (50%) vehicle this year. Among those who plan go ahead with their usual car/bike purchase, 54% of them belong to the ages of 26-40 years.

2) On possible discounts buyers are looking for if they plan to buy a vehicle this year:

With life slowly returning to normalcy, at least in most parts, over 70% of potential buyers have already started looking out for better deals and options. At 38%, North India tops in terms of inquires while only 16% in the West seem interested, given the continuing lockdown and restrictions.

3) On the the kind of payment plan buyers would prefer while buying a vehicle:

Among those interested in buying a bike, a majority of them (21%) plan to pay by cash, while 14% plan to get for a bank loan. Car buyers, however, are split, with 19% each planning to go for a bank loan and pay by cash. 18 to 25-year-olds seem most interested in taking a loan for their two-wheeler purchase as compared to other ages. Among car buyers, over 40% of 31 to 40-year-olds plan to go for a bank loan.

4) On the factors affecting the buying decision:

Vehicle features and brands make up the most important factors for almost 50% of potential buyers. Surprisingly, ownership costs appear in the bottom two factors, despite the financial hit that several buyers may have taken amid the pandemic. Coming to the price, 62% of men seem more conscious about it as compared to just 38% of women. The gap, however, narrows when it comes to the brand name.

5) On the kind of research buyers do before buying a vehicle

Personal recommendations from family and friends continue to be an important influencing factor for over one-third of car buyers, underlining the importance of customer care and service. With plenty of online reviews, feedback, and research available, online forums are the next go-to source.

Surprisingly, youngsters in the age group of 18 to 25 years tend to rely more heavily on recommendations (41%) as compared to other age groups. This gap, however, narrows when it comes to online research, with 37% of 31 to 40-year-olds putting their faith in online forums as compared to 28% of 18 to 25-year-olds.

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