BUYING a car at a dealership can be an ordeal.
The process can be tedious; you often have to deal with an overzealous salesperson trying to sell you an upgrade you don’t need, be tempted by multiple payment options even though you are a cash buyer and face a mountain of paperwork you don’t have time for. It is no wonder that customers are increasingly opting to buy their cars online.
A 2015 car buying survey of 10,000 people in the US and other countries showed that people are no longer interested in buying their cars from a dealership. In fact, one third of the respondents in the survey said that, given the opportunity, they would rather complete the entire car buying process online, from choosing their choice car, to negotiation, doing the paperwork, making payment and delivery. This underscores how keen customers are in converting the car buying process into an online experience.
There is no denying that buying a car online would help customers avoid the whole complex transactional system involved in a car purchase.
Admittedly, a car dealership has its own advantages; it is meant to be a place where the customer can take the car for a test drive and get valuable insight on the car from the dealership staff.
Even so, there is considerable pressure to change the dynamics of the buying process, to make it quicker, more transparent and less complicated for the consumer – thankfully, some car brands are already buying into the idea of creating a streamlined car-buying process, limiting the contact between customer and dealer, concluding the purchase and driving home. A 2015 article covered how Toyota-owned Scion is trying to make buying a car feel like buying an iPad.
It is important to point out that buying a car online is a lot different from buying at a dealership. While it is simple to upload your personal information such as driver licence, insurance policy number and other relevant documentation online for the car dealership to go through, because you only see the details of the car online, it is vital that you also do due diligence before committing to a purchase.
If you are buying a used car, knowing the history of the car will save you a lot of future hardship. You have to know how the car was used, if it has any incidents on file and whether you are getting a good deal or not. You can easily get these details by running a free VIN check so that you don’t end up making a mistake. Remember that buying a car is a huge financial investment, second only to buying a house.
Everyone loves shopping for a car, but demanding that customers put their schedule aside and come to a physical store where they have to spend hours waiting simply because they want to buy a car is disruptive and counterproductive. It is one of the reasons people no longer buy cars, they would rather not go through the process, but putting the majority of the transaction online and easing the stress on the customer will make things a lot better.