Loyalty issues as most UK car buyers open to switching brands

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In the UK a staggering 79% of car owners said they are open to switching brands when they buy their next new car, revealing a huge gap in  brand loyalty among car owning consumers.

Car buyers shifting gears on loyalty

Teads, the global media platform, revealed the UK findings in the company’s latest global report, “Shifting Gears: Understanding the New Dynamics of Auto Buying Worldwide.”

Based on research conducted across 17 markets, the latest findings shed light on the key motivations, considerations and emerging trends for auto buyers around the world.

Andrea Lo Presti, Industry Director, Automotive, Teads UK, said: “Over the past few years, the evolving macro-economic, industrial and legislative challenges that have prevented electric vehicles (EVs) from embarking on a steady growth trajectory have been turning the UK car market on its head.

“Now more than ever, brands and marketers need a clear, focused go-to-market strategy.

“So, understanding the latest research and purchase behaviours from consumers across the digital ecosystem is becoming increasingly important.”

Five key UK findings from the report:

Brand loyalty wanes, openness soars

Consumer loyalty is taking a backseat, with a staggering 79% of UK auto intenders open to switching brands.

While this presents a critical opportunity for automakers to capture attention and build trust in a shorter timeframe, it also means that traditional marketing strategies may need a refresh to stand out in this new, competitive environment and to find new consumer audiences.

Faster decisions demand proactive outreach

With over half (53%) of UK consumers devoting two weeks or less to researching brands and models, in order to succeed in this environment, reaching consumers early and maintaining consistent engagement throughout their research journey is critical.

The green wave: EVs and hybrids surge in popularity

While UK sales of pure-electric/hybrid cars currently represent 25–30% of the market, 40% of UK consumers are considering these types of vehicles, which highlights that the purchase barriers are still present amongst intenders.

Digital dominates the car buying journey

Consumers are overwhelmingly turning to the internet for car research. Over a third (35%) are saying that online resources are now more important than ever, with the majority of all car buyers (64%) looking to research different brands and models online.

This digital showroom shift demands automakers to prioritise a user-friendly and informative online presence.

Trusted sources and the power of online ads

While online resources are crucial, car buyers still value trusted sources like manufacturer websites. However, the power of online ads to influence car buyers cannot be underestimated.

They inspire 72% of consumers to take action, particularly younger demographics and EV considerers.