Shoppers Eye 4th of July Car Sales as Pandemic Expedites Car-Buying Plans

Some consumers may celebrate the birth of the nation by buying a new car, as Fourth of July car deals and pandemic concerns provide an incentive to shop.

Automotive marketplace surveyed consumers who have an interest in acquiring a new car to see if the COVID-19 outbreak was impacting their plans. The survey found that not only were most respondents expediting their timeline for getting another car in part because of the pandemic, but 44% said they were prepared to close the deal on a vehicle over the holiday weekend.

A myriad of reasons to buy

Respondents gave a host of reasons for why they were quickly moving forward with their car-buying plans.

More than half — 52% — said they want something new, or at least newer than the vehicle they already own. More than a third of respondents — 42% — said they believed the deals that will be available this weekend will be too good to pass up.

For others, the pandemic is motivating them to take action. Fears of contracting the coronavirus from riding public transportation or using ride-sharing services have led some consumers to conclude that driving their own car would be safer. Among respondents, 20% said they are buying a car for that reason.

Car dealerships are also ramping up their efforts to put those who are fearful of COVID-19 at ease. An earlier survey found that dealerships were making it easier for shoppers to avoid leaving the house by increasing their online financing options and offering home delivery of purchased vehicles.

A sense of urgency

As the pandemic continues, consumers are becoming increasingly anxious to move forward with their car-buying plans.

Respondents were asked whether the pandemic had influenced their timing for a planned purchase or lease of a new car, and a majority — 68% — said they now plan to move forward sooner than they had before. A survey conducted prior to Memorial Day asked the same question, and approximately 5% more shoppers in June said they are expediting their plans than in May.

Some consumers may want to acquire a new vehicle before the summer vacation season ends. More than half of respondents — 56% — said they had travel plans for the Fourth of July holiday, and more consumers planned to travel for the Fourth of July holiday than they did for Memorial Day, found. On top of that, most of those travelers — 77% — plan to travel by car. These findings are in line with earlier surveys in which consumers voiced a preference for road trips this summer over flying due to concerns that they may be exposed to COVID-19 on an airplane.

A decline in global travel during the pandemic may also be leading to a renewed focus on all things domestic. In fact, according to the survey, 66% of shoppers in the market for a car over the Fourth of July holiday weekend said they are planning to buy a domestic vehicle rather than one that was manufactured overseas.

Methodology: fielded 943 survey responses from consumers who self-identified as being in the market for a car. The survey was conducted June 23-24.

Jaime E. Love

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