What has the most influence when researching a new car?

Well, this certainly makes sense: Readers of one of the top sources for online vehicle reviews—Autobytel.com—overwhelmingly selected online vehicle reviews as the factor that most influences their purchase decision when it comes time to buy a new car. That was the answer for 42 percent of today’s survey participants, exactly twice the number who chose “Shop for the best deal.” In a tie for third were test drives, with 17 percent of readers saying they are most influenced by YouTube test-drive videos and a like amount reporting their top influencers were dealership test drives.

Note to automakers: At this stage in the game, zero percent of our readers are interested in merely buying the latest model of the vehicle they currently own without further research.

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