The online marketplace AutoScout24 received around 25 million visitors in 2022. Analysis of the platform reveals that SUVs and cars in traditional colours such as black and white were particularly popular search criteria last year. In terms of fuel types, searches increasingly specified cars with alternative drive types. The VW Golf was still the most popular car – adverts for this model were the most frequently clicked on AutoScout24. If we look at the platform and combine the most striking data and analysis to create a hypothetical figure, the typical AutoScout24 visitor is aged between 25 and 44 and uses their smartphone to search for their dream car in the evenings.
A total of more than 750,000 different vehicles were advertised on AutoScout24 in 2022. As you can imagine, it’s not so easy to find your dream car from the wealth of options on offer. New or used car? Which type of fuel drive? Is the potential buyer looking for a particular brand, model or colour? «Our analysis shows that people often search by brand and model first» says Mathias Jenny, Head of User Experience Research at AutoScout24. In 2022, the VW Golf topped the list of most sought-after vehicles. Adverts for this VW classic attracted around 7 million clicks on the online marketplace last year. This ranking comes as no surprise to Maurice Acker, Director Business Customers at AutoScout24: «The model has been around for almost 50 years and has been popular for generations. In addition, the Golf is an extremely compact, versatile car. The model also has very good value retention.» The Porsche 911 came second, with around 5.3 million page views, followed by the Skoda Octavia in third place, with around 2.5 million clicks. Fourth place went to the BMW X5, followed by the VW Tiguan coming in at fifth place.
SUVs conquer Switzerland
«It’s usually not until the next step that people focus on refining their search, by body type, fuel type or colour, for example» adds Mathias Jenny. End of December 2021, estate cars (station wagons) were still the most popular body type, but the number of searches decreased throughout the year 2022. In April searches for SUVs skyrocketed, and in May they were leading the course. Maurice Acker is not surprised by this. «Switzerland has long been a country of SUVs. These vehicles are considered to be safe and their slightly elevated seating position provides an excellent view of the road. SUVs are also more of a status symbol than estate or compact cars.» Saloon cars were ranked third. Consumers were less interested in other body types, such as compact cars, minivans, convertibles and pick-ups.
Alternative drives are gaining popularity
A look at the fuel type filter shows that conventional combustion engines (petrol or diesel vehicles) remained the most frequently searched on AutoScout24 last year, but they’re on a downward trend. Searches for alternative drives, i.e. vehicles with purely battery-powered drives, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell and gas combustion drives, are becoming more popular. «Awareness of climate-neutral mobility is on the rise, as searches on AutoScout24 indicate. Electric cars were particularly popular last year. Compared to 2021, almost one in three searches are now for electric vehicles. I’m convinced that electric mobility will become the leading passenger vehicle technology of the future» says Maurice Acker.
Classic colours are a must
The most popular car colours in 2022 were plain and simple black or white. Around two thirds of all visitors to AutoScout24 filtered their search based on these two colours, or «non-colours». They were followed, at some distance, by blue, red and grey. There were very few searches for exotic colours such as yellow or orange.
Every age group represented on AutoScout24
If we take a closer look at visitors to AutoScout24, we see that every age group is represented on the online marketplace. However, almost half of users are aged between 25 and 44 (35-44: 22.4%, 25-34: 22.2%). Visitors aged 18 to 24 make up the smallest age group, accounting for just 10% of visitors. This age distribution comes as no surprise to Mathias Jenny: «Buying a car is the second most expensive investment most people make, after buying a property. So you need to have a certain amount of savings before you can afford your own car. The 25-45 age group usually meets this requirement. So it’s hardly surprising that the younger age group is less represented. In addition, this age group is more drawn to “sharing models”, i.e. sharing a vehicle within a family or among friends, or using commercial services (car share mobility)» explains the research expert. The age group distribution has remained roughly the same in recent years.
Users tend to browse in the evenings via smartphone
What has changed significantly, however, is the way people search for their dream car. «Fifty years ago this would have involved trawling through newspaper ads, but now it happens virtually. We have seen that browsing on digital devices, i.e. searching via smartphones and tablets, has become the norm in recent years» says Mathias Jenny. According to analysis by AutoScout24, almost 16 million users typed autoscout24.ch in their mobile or tablet search bar last year. The «mobile devices» category was therefore the largest input channel (63%), up from 40% in the previous year. Around 7 million visitors accessed autoscout24.ch on their computer. Analysis of browsing times on the platform shows that searches tend to begin at 5:00 am in the morning and increase sharply until 12:00 noon. Over lunchtime and in the early afternoon, the curve flattens slightly, before rising steadily from 3:00 pm. Peak time is between 8:00 and 9:00 pm, the period that sees the most activity on the online platform. This begins to change from 10:00 pm as searches decline by the hour.
The analysis included user searches on AutoScout24 via a computer, smartphone, tablet and/or the AutoScout24 app in 2022 (1 January to 31 December 2022). Searches were assessed according to the number of users, the number of sessions and the number of page views.