U.S. consumers more satisfied with vehicle buying experience this year

A boost in new vehicle inventory combined with moderating prices helped propel  customer satisfaction with the overall vehicle buying experience upward, according to J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

Released just this week, the survey found that satisfaction jumped to 793 in 2023 from 786 last year, based on a 1,000-point scale.

“The improved level of vehicle inventory and the easing of upward pressure on prices are the driving factors in sending sales satisfaction back in a positive direction,” said Chris Sutton, Vice President of Automotive Retail at J.D. Power, in a statement.

Furthermore, satisfaction among owners of internal combustion engine vehicles remains higher than electric vehicle owners in the premium and mass market segments. The index shows that overall satisfaction among owners of mass market EVs reaches 790, while satisfaction among mass market ICE vehicle owners sits at 848. For premium, the rating sits at 831 for EV owners and 866 for premium ICE vehicle owners.

According to the study, 34% of EV buyers said dealers are not doing enough to improve their comfort level with vehicle maintenance. And 11% are not comfortable with the charging process and options.

Still, Sutton said vehicle buyers are “more satisfied with the inventory choices they now see in dealerships across the country — more than in the past three years. Increased inventory also means fewer buyers are paying more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for their new vehicle.”

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