Auto Service World
News   January 6, 2023   by Adam Malik

Top trends of 2023 for car shoppers

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Canadians are changing their views on the types of vehicles they want going forward, a new study suggested.

A recent AutoTrader report found that car buyers in this country are looking for more economical vehicles as the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry and Corolla jumped in searches on its website in 2022.

Looking ahead into 2023, online vehicle marketplace looked at what consumers are thinking about in terms of their vehicles.

At the top of the list was the increased interest in electric vehicles. AutoTrader reported that interest has been climbing for years and hit new heights in 2022. As gas prices skyrocketed in the spring of 2022, so did searches for EVs —an increase of 89 per cent year-over-year.

Indeed, a survey from financial comparison website Compare the Market surveyed Canadians and found the majority want to go electric. S&P Global Mobility’s third-quarter data show Canadians are registering zero-emission vehicles at a quickening pace.

Two-in-three users told AutoTrader that gas prices were behind their interest in EVs. “Throughout 2022, the number of car shoppers inquiring about EVs climbed up 148 per cent compared to the same time last year,” it stated.

Searches for EVs were the highest in B.C. — which, in addition to Quebec, is the only province to offer purchase incentives — and Ontario. AutoTrader noted that the marketplace is looking to keep pace as more trucks are now available for consumer purchase and more performance-based options will become a trend in 2023.

Consumers were also quicker to buy new vehicles last year. The average time a new vehicle spent on AutoTrader dropped 43 per cent, from 86 days in 2021 to 49 days in 2022. Car buyers are ready to adapt to the market, willing to change brand and model, while also willing to pay more due to shortages.

However, used vehicles may continue to be the preferred option as prices begin to soften. AutoTrader expects this area to be appealing as a third (36 per cent) of Canadian vehicle shoppers said they’re willing to switch from purchasing new to used, a 10 per cent jump from 2021.

And the company expects purchase intent to remain strong despite other financial challenges among consumers. Its research showed that intention to buy went from 18 per cent in March to 24 per cent in October.

“The study revealed that car shoppers’ budgets likely won’t change even if the market does, regardless of if the economy stays the same or declines,” it said.

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