Stock shortages are having a major impact on brand loyalty

January 24, 2023 by

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  • 79% of car buyers say they are open to switching brands to secure a vehicle more quickly, compared to 72% at the start of 2022
  • 45% more likely to contact a dealership if preferred model is in stock
  • Brands with immediate stock availability are 33% more likely to convert to sale
  • Average carwow buyer now configures seven different models from four different brands – up from five models from three brands in 2021
  • 45% of those ordering a car via carwow go on to configure at least one alternative car on the platform after securing a car

According to new data from carwow, the ongoing shortage in supply of new cars can have a significant impact on consumer brand loyalty, with large proportions of enquiries gravitating to those brands that hold immediate stock.

Research conducted by carwow among potential car buyers indicates that 79% are open to switching brands if they can access a new car more quickly, up from 72% at the start of 2022. carwow also evaluated 18,000 enquiries and transactions completed via its platform between November and December 2022 and found that buyers are now 45% more likely to contact a dealership if they see that their preferred make and model of car is currently in stock online. In addition, carwow found that those car brands with relevant available stock are now a third (33%) more likely to convert a lead to sale.

Consumers are hedging their bets

Potentially due to ongoing stock issues, customers are now evaluating a wider range of vehicles before placing enquiries and making a purchase. The average carwow buyer now configures seven different models from four different brands and places enquiries with three dealers prior to purchase. This is a marked change from the typical purchasing journey in 2021, where prior to purchase the average carwow customer configured just five different models from three brands before placing enquiries with two dealers.

“Stock shortages have become an embedded feature in the new car market, and it’s prompting many consumers to think twice about sticking with those brands they know and trust,” comments Sepi Arani, Commercial Director at carwow. “While this fall in brand loyalty might seem a cause for concern, it’s also an opportunity for those brands and dealers who are willing and able to engage proactively with prospects.

“Highlighting similar stock – including used examples – where there is better availability is more important than ever, and there are significant rewards to reap for those businesses that implement digital conquest campaigns reaching out to wavering prospects. In fact, we’ve found that the average carwow buyer can move from lead to sale in just 24 days – much quicker than the market average – making the car buying process quicker and easier for both dealers and motorists alike.”

As part of its research, carwow found that the typical buyer journey doesn’t stop once an order has been placed. Perhaps seeking positive affirmation of their purchase decision, 45% of those ordering a car via carwow go on to configure at least one alternative car on the platform after securing a car.

During 2022, there have been 72 million visits from potential car buyers in the UK on carwow’s platform – using the new-car configurator, conducting vehicle searches, and placing enquiries with dealer partners.


About carwow

carwow’s mission is to put everyone in the know when it comes to cars. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace that connects more than nine million UK users with trusted dealers and brands to buy or sell their vehicles.

Established in 2011, carwow is the number one marketplace for new cars in the UK, Germany, and Spain. In 2021, it launched its ‘Sell My Car’ service, meaning dealers can also buy stock directly from carwow users – allowing consumers to sell their current car and buy their next vehicle all on the same platform. From 2021 to 2022, carwow saw a 97% increase in the number of dealers using its site and almost five million bids received from dealers on used car listings.

Headquartered in London, carwow employs over 320 people in the UK, Portugal, Germany, and Spain with the backing of some of the most prestigious technology, marketplace, and automotive investors.

Having started life as a reviews aggregator, carwow has also become one of the most influential names in consumer car media, with the biggest automotive channel on YouTube (over seven million subscribers, fronted by Mat Watson.

Dedicated to helping the auto industry embrace online, carwow offers a suite of data-driven tools and services, including lead generation, stock sourcing, brand building, e-commerce training, marketing, and advertising.

For more information visit or call 0333 150 0777. For the latest reviews and videos, subscribe to the carwow channel on, follow carwow on LinkedIn at and on Twitter at