Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Customers having conversation with sales assistant, buying car, view above
Getty Images

Shopping for a car is becoming a time-consuming marathon, and buyers are leaving the dealership much less satisfied with the experience, a new report says.

In 2022, the average car buyer spent 14 hours and 39 minutes researching, shopping and purchasing their vehicle, according to Cox Automotive, a research and consulting firm. That's an 18% increase from 2021 when buyers spent an average of 12 hours and 27 minutes going through the process.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
New or used, your car is an investment. Make sure it's protected!
Get the coverage you need without breaking the bank. Click your state to get a free quote today.
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
View Rates

What the research says

Based on a survey of 10,000 car shoppers and buyers, Cox found that customer satisfaction is decreasing: The share of buyers who were highly satisfied declined from 66% in 2021 to 61% in 2022.

  • Most of the decline in satisfaction came from the used vehicle market. While the share of new car buyers who were highly satisfied only dropped from 71% to 70%, the share of used buyers who were highly satisfied went from 65% to 58%.
  • The increase in the amount of time buyers spent going through the process was just one factor contributing to the decline in satisfaction. Limited inventory and high prices also made the experience more difficult, Cox reports.
Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Keep those you love safe on the road with an Auto Insurance policy
Progressive offers some of the most flexible and comprehensive auto insurance policies that can be tailored to their needs. Click below to learn more.
View Rates

Why it matters

Shopping for a car could always be a hassle, but it became a more laborious process for the average buyer last year, and the experience was less pleasant.

  • The average buyer spent an extra hour researching and shopping online, while also spending about 20 more minutes at the dealership.
  • Buyers cited limited inventory as one of the reasons they had to spend more time looking for cars. “In 2022, the shopping experience became less about finding the PERFECT vehicle and more about finding ANY vehicle,” the report from Cox reads.
  • Fewer buyers are coming out of the purchasing process feeling good about the price they end up paying. As car prices hit new records in 2022, the share of buyers who were satisfied with their purchase price decreased from 63% to 48%.

Bottom line

Buying a car hasn’t become just more expensive, it’s also become a more frustrating and time-consuming process.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
With Auto Insurance, you'll be looking after your car and yourself
There's a wide range of insurance policies available for you. Find the one that best fits your particular needs today. Start shopping now by clicking below.
View Rates

More from Money:

7 Best Car Loan Rates of 2023

Gas Prices Are Back Above $3 in All 50 States

Buyers Are Getting Discounts on New Cars Again — but There's a Catch