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Data Point

There’s No Blue or Red When It Comes to How Consumers Buy Cars


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We know there are differences by political party affiliation when it comes to what type of vehicle people buy. The Cox Automotive Digital Retailing team took a quick look at some recent data on how people are buying cars to see if party affiliation plays a role there as well.

First up, the majority of car buyers are still finalizing the purchasing steps at the dealership. And it doesn’t matter if you are blue or red, that’s how it’s done. Regardless of political party, 80% or more of all buyers still complete all or most of the final purchasing steps in-person.

Secondly, among buyers who did NOT finalize the deal at a dealership, the likelihood of purchasing their car without ever visiting the dealership is nearly equal – 40% for Democrats and 39% for Republicans. Since this is 40% of the approximately 20% per the previous question, this represents a small slice of vehicle buyers.

Democrats and Republicans are equally loyal when it comes to brand. Across party lines, brand loyalty is relatively strong, with 63% of Republicans and 62% of Democrats stating that they have purchased or leased from the brand previously.

On the other hand, dealer loyalty is far below brand loyalty, but it too is similar across political party affiliation with only 37% of Democrats and 35% of Republicans indicating that they have purchased or leased a vehicle from the dealership before.

If there is any daylight between Democratic and Republican vehicle buyers, it’s in the sites they use to shop and gather information. Democrats are more likely to use third-party sites (D=44%, R=37%), while Republicans are more likely to use dealer sites (R=25%, D=19%).

In all though, Blue and Red consumers have a lot in common. When it comes to buying a new vehicle, we are all Americans. 

If you would like to speak with a Cox Automotive research manager to learn more, please contact us.

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