New smart phone and App technologies are being cited for the biggest change in used vehicle buying behaviour

  • Apps bring biggest change to used car buying patterns for 50 years
  • Apps complement used vehicle guides to improve buyer intelligence

New smart phone and App technologies are being cited for the biggest change in used vehicle buying behaviour for the past 50 years.

Used car buyers are using the latest smart phone and App technologies to bring vehicle prices to their fingertips wherever they are in the country.

Whether it is researching how much consumers have paid for a specific car on Auto Trader or the stock availability of a certain car in their region, buyers are using this new technology on the basis that knowledge is power.

So how are buyers using this information? Each time a buyer visits a physical auction and sees a car they like, through the Auto Trader App they will look at the supply and demand ratio in their area and prices to understand what stock is already for sale locally. If supplies of a particular car are scarce they are prepared to pay a little more at auction as they know they are likely to sell it for a higher sale price.

If they are bidding for a vehicle online they will use information to the point of it coming up for sale in the auction hall which is why the switched on auctions like Shoreham supply broadband access to aid their buyer’s thirst for information.

The benefits are all too clear – the buyer never overpays for a vehicle and can up or downgrade their bids to the point the vehicle goes under the hammer.

That’s not to say the guide books have been thrown away totally – they provide yet more price information for the buyer, but generally as the information can be three to four weeks out of date at the end of the month they use them as they were intended – as a guide only. They also give buyers confidence to pay full book price and above if stock is scarce.

“For 50 years the used vehicle guides supported by some local knowledge were the basis for their view on market prices,” explained Alex Wright, Shoreham Vehicle Auctions.

“The smart phone coupled to its relevant Apps, and easy access to the internet has transformed the available access to price information. Those buying not only ensure they pay the true market price for a vehicle, but are also making sure they price the vehicle correctly when it comes to selling,” he added.

One of the latest Apps to appear is the Auto Trader mobile App which allows the buyer to view all of its advertiser’s cars and bikes (around 350,000) anytime anywhere. The Auto Trader App has been designed to function on any mobile phone with access to the internet. Other related Apps for car valuations and finance for example, are becoming available – a clear indication of their growing influence.

But where will the market go next and how will buying dynamics change – no one truly knows except for one thing – the number of vehicle price Apps and websites will continue to grow and the internet continues to make a huge impact on sellers, retailer and end users alike.