36% Plan to Travel Memorial Day–Discounts Motivate Car Sales

Digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider Cars.com  today revealed its latest research that found while 64% of Americans will not travel this Memorial Day weekend due to COVID-19, 36% still plan to take a trip. Of those planning to travel, 75% will do so by car, taking a short road trip closer to home, likely to abide by local safety guidelines. Cars.com’s research also found virus concerns, along with deep discounts on cars, are motivating 33% of in-market Americans to buy a car this holiday weekend — sooner than originally planned.1

“Americans love the freedom and safety that personal car ownership provides, especially in the current environment,” said Jenni Newman, Cars.com editor-in-chief. “We are seeing more people considering purchasing a car to use as an extension of their home, a much-needed escape and safe mode of transportation. The good news is, consumers no longer have to leave their home to purchase a vehicle as we’ve seen thousands of dealerships nationwide adopt digital buying practices such as virtual test drives and appointments and home delivery options.”

Cars.com research led to the following Memorial Day insights:

COVID-19 is driving Americans to buy a car this holiday weekend and sooner than previously planned.¹

The latest research suggests of those who are currently in the market to buy a car this year, 33% will do so this weekend. A desire for something newer (53%), the fact that current deals are just too good to pass up (35%), and needing a replacement vehicle due to an accident or their car breaking down (21%) are the main motivators for shoppers.

Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect purchase timelines, with 85% of consumers saying that the virus has changed when they will buy. Most (62%) plan to act sooner than originally planned. Previous Cars.com research indicated that a new generation of Americans are buying a car to avoid riding public transportation (43%) and distrust in the cleanliness of others’ cars, such as with ride sharing services (28%), amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.2

Americans will take advantage of the short, quick road trip this Memorial Day weekend.¹

COVID-19 is keeping the majority of Americans at home, but of the 36% of Americans who plan to travel this holiday weekend, 75% are doing so by car. The majority of traveling consumers (75%) plan to drive 100 miles or less and will be away for a day trip or overnight (57%). Most holiday travelers plan to visit family or friends (43%), but as more beaches and recreation areas begin to safely open, 27% of Americans plan to hit the beach, 22% will go to state or national parks and 21% plan to enjoy a weekend of camping.

For anyone who is considering a safe, close-to-home trip, Cars.com recommends consumers follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local governments.

COMMENT: Let Us Know What You Think