In-Car WiFi Survey: About Half of Car Buyers Interested in Feature

Over the last couple of years, the technology used in cars has changed drastically. Some vehicle models now even come with in-car WiFi so that drivers and passengers can stay connected while in transit. This Strategy& study suggests that the market for connected car technology, including wireless internet access, is in a state of flux. But that could mean that even more consumers may be interested in in-car WiFi and similar features going forward. We asked 1,000 respondents their thoughts on in-car WiFi and how many would be willing to pay for it in the coming years.

in-car wifi

In-Car WiFi

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 74% of respondents said that they currently own or lease a personal vehicle. However, just 9% of those car owners said that their vehicle has in-car WiFi. 87% don’t have that feature in their vehicles. And 4% were unsure. Ford, Toyota, Chevy, Honda, BMW, Audi and Nissan were the most popular brands among those vehicle owners with in-car WiFi.

Those who have in-car Wifi, even though the sample is small, seem to use the feature fairly often. 28% said that they or members of their family use it every time they’re in the car. 15% use it most of the time. 23% use it about half the time. 15% said they rarely ever use it. And 18% never do. 55% of in-car WiFi users said they regularly use the feature to stream music. 47% use it to look up directions. 43% use it to look up information. 34% use it to stream movies or TV for their passengers. And 21% use it for social media.

Future Users

Overall, 43% of respondents said that they are at least somewhat likely to buy or lease a vehicle within the next five years. And of those potential car buyers, 48% said it’s at least somewhat likely that their next vehicle purchase will come with in-car WiFi. 59% of those who are interested in the feature said they’d even be willing to pay extra for it. Those who currently own vehicles were more likely to say that they’ll be buying another vehicle in the next five years. But they were only slightly more likely to say that their next vehicle purchase will probably include in-car WiFi. And they were slightly less likely to be willing to pay extra for that feature.

Smartphone Uses

Currently, 77% of overall respondents said that they own a smartphone or tablet. And of those mobile consumers, 67% said they regularly use their devices to look up information. 61% use mobile devices for social media. 57% look up directions on their phones. 46% stream music on those devices. 29% stream movies or TV shows. And just 11% don’t do any of those activities on their mobile devices. Those who are at least somewhat likely to buy a vehicle in the next five years were more likely to say that they own a smartphone or tablet, and also more likely to use their mobile devices to look up directions.

Key Takeaways

In-car WiFi is already a feature that’s poised for growth, though it hasn’t caught on with most automotive consumers just yet. While about half of those who are likely to buy cars in the next few years are at least interested in the feature, not all of them are willing to pay for it. So to make in-car WiFi appealing to consumers, it has to be cost effective, not an option that people will have to pay a lot extra for. In addition, calling attention to some of the major practical uses of in-car WiFi could be a benefit for car brands trying to push the feature. Specifically, music streaming and driving directions seem to be popular smartphone uses that could come in handy for drivers and passengers. So using those activities as talking points or visuals for automotive marketing materials could potentially catch the eyes of automotive consumers.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Tesla Model S Deliveries by Steve Jurvetson under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on July 24 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.