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Milestone of the mobile era reached as 1 in 10 used cars are bought via a smartphone screen

Milestone of the mobile era reached as 1 in 10 used cars are bought via a smartphone screen

Digital car sales have reached a new milestone with news from the online used car supermarket that almost 1 in 10 purchases are now completed entirely on the customer's mobile phone.

Although sales are rising generally, as motorists flock to buy used cars amid a new car supply crisis, transactions have risen most on mobiles.

Over the past 12 months used car purchases completed entirely via the small screen have soared by 48.7%, compared with a rise of 22.1% on desktop or laptop computers. Buyacar analysts say that transactions via tablets, such as ipads, are also up, but account for little more than one in every 100 sales.

With 8.4% of transactions completed on mobile, including finding the right car, reserving it, applying for finance, completing security checks and arranging delivery, the business predicts that car buying on the go will become as commonplace as ordering a takeaway or checking social media on a phone screen.

Another remarkable statistic is that visits to from a mobile phone are now more than twice as likely to result in a sale as they were a year ago. By comparing actual sales to the number of browsing sessions by individual visitors buyacar noted a 105.2% increase in the so-called conversion rate for mobile users. For desktop and laptop computers the figure is up by 63.4%.

The increases are believed to stem from a combination of improvements to the site's design coupled with growing confidence among car shoppers that they are safe to go ahead with a major purchase, even on a pocket device.

The total value of cars bought on via the mobile phone screen is up by 68% compared with an increase of 33.9% for those purchased on a desktop or laptop, suggesting that mobile is the fastest growing way of shopping online.

In another sign of car buyers’ confidence to complete an entire purchase online, they are also buying cars faster than ever before. This is measured by contrasting a reduction in the amount of time visitors spend on the site with the increase in sales, again suggesting that the clearer and easier a site is to navigate the more likely customers are to buy from it.

Christofer Lloyd, Editor of, said: "These figures reveal that the mobile phone is now the go-to screen for nearly 1 in 10 online car buyers - a figure that would have been hard to imagine just a decade ago.

"But our deeper analysis is even more interesting because it suggests that online car shoppers are also confident to commit to a purchase more quickly than ever before.

"What is perhaps most remarkable about this increase in mobile purchasing activity is that it has happened during a year when many people were locked down and working from home, with no concerns about being overlooked at work while they browsed cars and filled in finance applications. 

“So, even though there was perhaps less need to slip away to a quiet location to access the internet on their smartphone, a growing number of shoppers chose mobile as their way to buy a car anyway."

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