Chicago—September 18, 2009—According to a new Cars.com survey, 30 percent of consumers who purchased a new car during the recent Cash for Clunkers program had no intentions of buying a car, but said they bought one because the government program was too good to pass up.
The survey, which focused on consumers who purchased a new or used car in the last three months, also showed that an additional 37 percent of consumers who bought a car in the last several months were originally planning on buying a used car but switched to new to take advantage of the government offering.
"The good news is that the program certainly had its desired effect -- it brought consumers into dealerships and moved a lot of new car inventory off dealer lots," said Cars.com Editor in Chief Patrick Olsen. "Many analysts believed that the program would alleviate pent-up demand by offering incentives to consumers who needed a new car but, for one reason or the other, were holding off until the economy turned around. While that is definitely true, the program clearly was also successful at luring new shoppers into market who otherwise had no intentions of buying a car."
The Cash for Clunkers program had the largest impact on younger car shoppers with a larger percentage of consumers under the age of 34 stating that they took advantage of the program.
It was well publicized that car dealers were having some trouble processing Cash for Clunkers transactions with the government, but those problems didn't spill over to consumers. Eight in 10 consumers said they were satisfied with the way the program was run with another 55 percent of consumers wishing that the program could be reinstated.
About the Survey: The survey was conducted for Cars.com by Impulse Research Corp. with an online random sample of 1056 men and women 18 years of age or older who have purchased a new or used vehicle in the past 3 months or are planning to purchase a new or used vehicle in the next 6 months. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/-3 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).