Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

What Gen Z Looks for When Buying a Car

3 min read

To target your marketing, you need to know what demographic you want to reach and what will resonate with them. Of course, no one likes hidden fees, long wait times, or negotiating a better price, but there are certain characteristics that can be helpful when marketing to Gen Z buyers, specifically. Gen Z buyers are new to purchasing a car, so if your dealership handles the sale well, you could have a customer for life! At Digital to Dealer Direct (D2D), as an automotive marketing agency, we have decades of experience targeting buyer groups. 

Gen Z are those born between 1997 and 2012, or roughly 11 to 26 years old. It is becoming increasingly important to appeal to this generation, as half of them are now drivers. CDK Global surveyed over 1,100 people of all ages about the car buying experience and found that Gen Z ranked highest (81%) in wanting to take their time to understand all their options.

Some misconceptions about Gen Z:

    • They won’t have money for a luxury car.

      • Based on studies across generations, Gen Z was found to be more inclined to purchase a luxury car despite having less income. They don’t mind haggling the price, but they certainly don’t want to be hit with surprise fees.

    • They won’t want to purchase a car online.

      • Contrary to what you might think, the online generation actually has a harder time purchasing a car than Gen X or Millennials and want to be walked through the process of buying a car. They found online purchasing more difficult than purchasing a vehicle in person. This is likely because it is their first time purchasing a car and they are unfamiliar with the process.

Things to take into consideration when selling to Gen Z:

    • Be the expert. They want you to educate them.

      • More than any other demographic, Gen Z wants to work with a knowledgeable representative.

    • Don’t assume speed. They do not want to be rushed through the buying process. The most important element for Gen Z buyers is their ability to take their time and understand the car, fees, and process. Older generations tend to want to purchase their cars in a timely fashion, as this is not their first time.

      • Gen Z does not want to waste time waiting for a salesman or F&I manager or for delivery delays. Nor do they want to be hit with surprise fees. This is not unlike other demographics.

    • Limit Redundancy. There are many online tools available, and Gen Z has likely shopped online before coming into the dealership. Although they want the sales process to be thorough and informative, they have likely taken advantage on online credit applications, viewing inventory, and calculating interest rates prior to making their purchase in person. Dealerships should streamline their process to prevent Gen Z buyers from having to wait around for paperwork and approvals.

Gen Z, despite spending a vast amount of time online, wants to purchase a car in person, from an expert that can educate them on the car, the car’s features, and walk them through all the paperwork and insurance. This might be their first time purchasing a car and they appreciate someone who is knowledgeable about the experience to help make it seamless. They are new to the car buying experience and find it the most difficult. As a result, they are least likely to recommend their dealership experience.

Work with your automotive digital marketing agency to target these potential buyers and promote your transparency, excellent customer service and reputation to bring one of these buyers to your dealership. Since they do spend so much time online, digital marketing will be key and you’ll want to stand out from the competition with clean advertising and targeted campaigns. If you have questions on how to start advertising to this group, or any other targeted group of buyers, D2D is here to help. Call today or shoot us an email for more information!