Stages in car buying journey

Stages in car buying journey

Inside Buyer’s Mind: 3 Stages in Car Buying Journey

Automobile industry has been rapidly evolving for the past few years. Innovation and digitisation is changing the industry completely, altering consumer behavior and perception. The influence of digital is to such an extent that about 60% of consumers spend their time researching online before actually stepping onto a dealership. 

Buying a car is one of the most important and largest financial decisions in a customer's lifetime. Since these purchases involve huge investments, buyers take enough time to consider their decision. Car shoppers go through various stages in the buyer cycle called “Car Buying Journey” before actually making the final purchase. 

To introduce your dealership to the potential buyer, you can’t just wait for them to come to you. Since they interact with various other touchpoints before visiting a dealership, you need to ensure interaction with buyers at an early stage of the buying cycle.

According to Google, a car shopper can have about 900+ digital interactions between the research to the final purchase. So, car dealerships need to ensure they are leveraging every digital touchpoint to influence buyer decisions and help them find the next vehicle.

In this blog, we’ll go through three main stages of car buyer journey:   


Before the buyer’s journey begins, they are mostly unaware of the vehicle they want to purchase. So, they go online to find a potential solution to their problem. 

About 95% of car shoppers use online as a source of information. During this time, buyers thoroughly research the various makes and models in different budget brackets. 

In this stage, the buyer goes through various steps to learn about multiple solutions through:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Comparison sites
  • E-books
  • Social media posts

During their online research, you (as a dealership) need to ensure that you can help them navigate through the journey and provide detailed information regarding the problems they are searching. This will enable them to make an informed decision and move to the next step.  

Use high-quality images to help customers explore vehicles online. Multiple car images from different angles and 360 videos can provide immersive detailing of the vehicle. 90% of car buyers consider photos extremely important in making the purchase decision.


Before buyers reach the consideration stage, they are aware of the existence of market solutions and know what can fix their challenges. In this stage, buyers will go further in determining the best deals and the options available. 

The potential buyers will gather all kinds of information at this phase of the car buying journey. By the end of it, they are aware of all the potential solutions that are relevant and fit their needs. 

During the buyer's consideration phase, car dealerships can tap the opportunity and reach out to them through Google Ads or Social media ads. Leveraging digital power can shape customers’ buying decisions in your favor.

This is also the stage where customers should be confident in their purchase decision. They usually prefer visiting dealerships and taking test drives, but 40% of buyers are likely to purchase a vehicle based on images they view online without seeing the vehicle in person.

This gives dealerships an opportunity to use high-quality photos and videos to influence car buyers’ purchase decisions. 

  • Use high-quality, sleek and clean car images
  • Display multiple car angles for better perspective
  • In case of used cars (use hotspots to highlight scratches and dents)
  • Use 360 interior and exterior spin videos for immersive experiences

What kind of images are important in a car buying journey? 

For new car buyers, cockpit and dashboard images are most important, while used car buyers rank images of odometer and car condition as the essential points.


Final Purchase (taking delivery of the vehicle)

This is the last stage in the buyer's car buying process. By this point, the buyer is ready for the purchase. However, buyers are still considering where and how to buy the car and more than half of the shoppers prefer to buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience, even if the prices are higher.

Also, buyers don’t want any kind of hassle or wait for hours at the dealership to complete the paperwork. In fact, over 70% of the buyers like to complete credit application & financing paperwork online. 

Use this as a guide to develop strategies for every car buying stage. These insights from top industry surveys will help you connect with your target audience at every touchpoint of their buying journey.

At the end of this stage, the buyer eventually makes the purchase and takes the delivery of the vehicle. 

A few things to consider in buyer's decision phase:

  • Make the buying process hassle-free
  • Move your paperwork entirely online
  • Deliver timely

“Given the short time that the buyer is willing to spend at the dealership, being efficient with the processes may endear the dealer to the potential customer.” - Deloitte 


From helping customers find the relevant information to assisting them explore vehicles online using high-quality car images until final delivery, ensure you provide authentic details at every stage and elevate the customer experience. This way, you don’t just deliver vehicles but also the satisfaction that customers anticipate from the brand. 

Impact Graph - What aspects do the consumers consider for research?

Spyne is a deep tech company that helps car dealerships with instant visual cataloging using AI-powered photography and editing technology. We enable car dealerships and marketplaces to create images and 360-degree videos instantly using our technology solutions. Click here for more information.

Written By - Younis on 22 Mar, 2022