More than half -- 54 percent -- of all new-vehicle buyers turn to the Internet for help when shopping for a new vehicle, up from 40 percent just a year ago, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.
New-vehicle shoppers look mainly for price data to help negotiate with dealers, according to the study. Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com) is the most frequently visited site for shoppers searching for vehicle information.
The growth rate is expected to slow significantly because almost all new-vehicle buyers already have access to the Internet, the firm said.
The portion for all new cars and trucks sold through an Internet buying service climbed to 4.7 percent in 2000 from 2.7 percent in 1999.
Autobytel.com, which accounts for about one percent of all new vehicles sold in the U.S., remains the most popular online buying service, followed by Microsoft's CarPoint and CarsDirect.com.