CarGurus Survey Reveals Distance and Research Tops Priority List for Canadian Car Shoppers

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 16, 2017 – CarGurus, a leading car research and shopping site, today released a survey uncovering Canadian car shoppers’ habits and preferences. The survey’s findings showed that different types of car shoppers are willing to travel varying distances for a car, heavy online researchers have a more extensive car-buying process than non-internet users, and men and women have different priorities on what’s most important when buying a car.

Key survey findings include:

Near, Far, Wherever You Are…

The survey found that while most Canadians are not interested in a road trip to get their car, those that devote more time to car shopping research are more willing to travel great distances for their desired vehicle. In addition, those that conduct extensive online research are more likely to travel for a car as opposed to other expensive items.
+ 70 per cent would not travel more than 100km to buy a car.
+ 30 per cent of shoppers that spend more than 10 hours doing online research are willing to travel more the 200km to buy a car.
+ 70 per cent of respondents that use four or more websites for car research said they would travel the furthest to purchase a car over other big ticket items like electronics, home appliances and furniture.

“Dedicating research time and using online resources can take the guess-work out car shopping and position a shopper to find their perfect deal, even if it means travelling further to get it,” said Sarah Welch, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing at CarGurus. “It’s interesting yet unsurprising that shoppers that invest significant time in research are also willing to travel further to get the car they want.”

Hitting the Books:

Shoppers dedicating many hours to online research and visiting multiple websites for research are on a serious hunt for the perfect car. The smaller subset of shoppers not using the internet as a research tool tend not to be as extensive in their shopping process as heavy internet users.
+ 57 per cent of shoppers that spend more than 10 hours doing online research visit four or more dealerships.
+ 54 per cent of Canadians who visit more than four websites for car research visit four or more dealerships.
+ 44 per cent of Canadians who don’t use the Internet for car research are much more likely to visit only one dealership.

Time is from Mars, Gas is from Venus:

The survey found that men and women have different ideas about what’s most important to consider when buying a car.
+ Women are more likely to say gas prices are most important to consider when buying a car (42 per cent vs 33 per cent men).
+ Men feel the time of year is most important to consider when buying a car (46 per cent vs 38 per cent women).


These observations are based on an online survey of 1,000 randomly selected Canadians, 18 years of age or older. The survey was carried out by Google Surveys and issued in February 2017.

About CarGurus

Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert, co-founder of TripAdvisor, CarGurus ( is a leading online automotive shopping website focused on bringing transparency and efficiency to the car research and shopping experience. The site uses technology and market data analysis to help millions of automotive shoppers search for cars and quickly identify the best deals from top-rated dealers in their local area. Today, in the United States, the site serves 23 million unique monthly users and more than 20,000 car dealerships, and ranks #1 among car shopping websites in the U.S. by daily unique visitor traffic. CarGurus launched its Canadian site in 2015.

Shannon Todesca