Vehicle History Reports Survey: Reports Already Gaining Popularity

Vehicle history reports services like Carfax and AutoCheck have become more popular with used car consumers in recent years. Those services aren’t without their faults, according to Consumer Reports. But they can still be helpful for some used car buyers that want to make sure they’re actually getting a good deal on their vehicle purchases. So how many car buyers value the ability to access vehicle history reports? We asked 1,000 consumers on September 1-2 about their car buying behavior and their thoughts on vehicle history reports.

vehicle history reports

Vehicle Purchases

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 9% of respondents said that they’ve purchased a vehicle within the past six months. 11% have done so in the past year. 13% have bought a vehicle in the past two years. 18% have bought one in the past five years. 13% said that they last bought a vehicle between six and ten years ago. 15% said it’s been more than ten years since they last bought a vehicle. And 20% are not automotive consumers at all.

When considering those vehicle purchases, 50% of automotive consumers said that cost is their most important factor. 15% ranked quality as most important. Another 15% care most about the type of vehicle. 8% said that brand name is most important to them. 5% care most about the overall value of the vehicle. 3% look for durability. And another 3% value fuel efficiency.

Used Car Buyers

Of those consumers who have purchased vehicles, 41% said that they last bought a new vehicle, while 58% bought a used vehicle. And looking forward, 47% of respondents said they are likely to purchase a vehicle in the next five years. And 76% of those potential car buyers said they are at least somewhat likely to buy a used car for their next purchase.

Vehicle History Reports

Of those who have purchased used vehicles, 35% said that they did seek out vehicle history reports. Carfax was the most popular source mentioned for those reports, while others got them from dealerships or Kelly Blue Book. In addition, those who have gotten vehicle history reports were more likely to have made their vehicle purchases recently.

Looking forward, 71% of those who plan to buy used cars said they are at least somewhat likely to seek out vehicle history reports. Those who have already gotten vehicle history reports were much more likely to plan on seeking out those reports for their next vehicle purchases. And those consumers were also more likely to have plans to purchase vehicles in the next five years.

Key Takeaways

Vehicle history reports are clearly getting more popular among used car buyers. Not only were recent car buyers more likely to have gotten those reports when purchasing, but future buyers were also more likely to say that they’ll seek out those reports. In addition, used cars look to be on the rise. So for dealerships that sell used cars, offering vehicle history reports as an incentive for buyers, or even as an additional option, could be a big draw for consumers. And for dealerships or other outlets like Carfax that offer vehicle history reports, using cost and value as selling points, potentially giving consumers the opportunity to get better deals or make purchases that are actually worth the money, seems to be a good strategy for convincing consumers to seek out those reports.

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: Used car dealer by RL GNZLZ under CC BY-SA 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 September 1-2 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.