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“Hassle-Free” Car-Buying Experience Is Most Important

DealerRater Reveals “Hassle-Free” Car-Buying Experience Most Important in Latest Poll

Waltham, MA (April 26, 2010) – DealerRater, the nation’s premier car dealer review Web site, surveyed a sample of 5,530 reviewers on which of six factors ranked highest in their car purchase decision. The poll choices included hassle-free shopping, low price, prompt attention, location of dealer, service promise and dealer reputation. Respondents were also given the choice to select “other” and share a factor of their own not included in our list.

“Nearly half of the respondents made it clear that both a relaxed car-buying experience and working with a dealer with a stellar reputation are tops on their wish lists,” noted Chip Grueter, president of DealerRater. “These top two criteria fit perfectly into the overall mission of DealerRater, which is to provide an efficient point of entry for customers through free classified vehicle leads and give dealers tools to effectively manage their online reputation.”

Based on the poll results, the most important factor to consumers in their car-buying decision is a “hassle-free” shopping experience, a response given by 30% of the poll respondents. Dealerships who can effectively streamline the car purchase process, apply just the right amount of pressure while allowing customers to feel that they are in control, and provide a seamless path from start to finish are clearly advantaged and in demand.

The next most popular factor, according to nearly 20% of the poll respondents, was dealer reputation. DealerRater allows customers to post their reviews of car dealerships to its website, effectively helping to inform other users who are reading the reviews as part of a purchase decision. DealerRater provides tools for dealers to manage their reputation through its Certified Dealer program. Reputation management has become one of the most critical components of effective online marketing, and the poll results clearly reinforce this.

Low prices (15% of respondents), prompt attention (10% of respondents), service promise (6% of respondents), and dealer location (3% of respondents) rounded out the poll responses that offered a specific factor. Approximately 16% of those surveyed, however, chose the “Other” option and specifically mentioned one or more factors that weren’t named in the poll. “Honesty and integrity at every step of the buying process” was the response of one such respondent, a sentiment echoed by a number of others. Another noted that “the knowledgeable and expertise of the sales staff is very important.”

About DealerRater
DealerRater was founded in 2002 as the first car dealer review Web site worldwide. DealerRater is committed to providing a central collection point for informative reviews. The site currently features more than 24,000 US and International car dealers and more than 100,000 user reviews. DealerRater provides the opportunity for users to search for car dealerships, read current reviews, write their own review, and find car deals – all for free. Car dealers are rated on the criteria of customer service, quality of work, friendliness, price and overall experience. DealerRater users also have the option to recommend the dealer to other users and provide a descriptive review. Web site users and car dealerships may post free auto classified ads. DealerRater visitors may request vehicle quotes and Certified Dealers receive free vehicle leads.

About Chip Grueter
Chip Grueter is the president of DealerRater. Mr. Grueter founded the company in 2002 as a way for Web site users to share their sales and service experiences at automotive dealerships with other Web site users. Mr. Grueter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College. Mr. Grueter’s favorite dealership customer service perk is free vehicle loaners.

For DealerRater information or to interview Chip Grueter, please contact Michelle Oldershaw at 800.266.9455 or visit

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Jeff can you post all the stat's and the questions?
Fascinating poll results. The key now is being able to interpret and discern the findings in order for dealers to respond appropriately.

For example, What does the consumer mean -- specifically -- when s/he wants a "hassle-free" shopping environment? For me, the real question therefore posed by this one particular poll result is this: How can the dealer "lengthen" its traditional "one-close sale" showroom encounter with the consumer into an honest-to-goodness relationship established before and strengthened during the showroom visit that suffuses the consumer with trust and confidence?

Another for example, What does the consumer mean -- specifically -- when s/he wants a "Honesty and integrity at every step of the buying process?” For me, the real question therefore posed by this one particular poll result is this: How can the dealer contribute "actionable insight and value" to the consumer's buying decision over and beyond what s/he has accumulated already for his/her online research?

If a dealer provides rare insight, if a dealer converts consumer online research into actionable understanding, then I think the dealer will have created for the consumer a "hassle-free" shopping experience -- an extraordinary one!

Lastly, BTW, not surprised to see that "low price" ranked correspondingly low in the poll...
Great article, thanks for sharing it.

Working with a lot of independent dealers, I have seen this repeatedly. Note the great testimonials from customers at some of the better independent stores, like Automotive Avenues in Denver.

See y'all at NIADA - doing a panel on social media with Keith Whann, Phil Zellinger and others.