What immediately comes to mind when you think of buying a car? Do you envision an entire day spent at a dealership walking through the inventory and taking test drives, haggling over prices with the sales team, and completing a seemingly endless stack of paperwork? While this might be an accurate picture of the traditional car-buying process, you’ll discover that it’s not your only option. As you start your search for “where to buy used cars,” you’ll discover the growing popularity of online car buying. What exactly is this new trend, and why should you get behind it?
What It Is
There’s a big difference between shopping for cars online and buying a car online. Most people, at one point or another, have shopped online for a car. This involves searching models online, whether that means checking out the latest Ford lineup or looking at your nearby Chevy dealer’s virtual showroom. This entails browsing through models, but it still requires you to visit a brick-and-mortar dealership to take a test drive and complete the paperwork.
Buying a car online brings the entire process to you. You can easily search nationwide for your dream car, but that’s only the beginning of the process. Online car dealers are revolutionizing the car industry by making the entire process virtual, from browsing their inventory and scheduling test drives to finalizing the paperwork. Once you find a vehicle you like, you can often schedule a test drive where a driver will bring the vehicle to you. If you decide to purchase the vehicle, you’ll complete the entire process online with a sales representative that will guide you through every step from submitting your trade-in information to signing on the dotted line.
Reasons to Jump on Board
Gone are the days where you have to get dressed and drive over to the dealership to find a new car. Online car dealerships are changing the game by prioritizing you and your time. To do this, online dealerships bring the entire process to you, whether you’re at the office, binge-watching your favorite series on the couch at home, or burning calories during spin class at the gym. A new car is truly at your fingertips wherever you are.
#2 Extensive Inventory
While many traditional dealerships offer outstanding selections, it’s hard to beat a nationwide search tool that puts every available vehicle in the country at your disposal. Online dealerships do exactly this but not at the cost of quality. Instead, these online dealerships have even stricter quality standards that a vehicle must pass before they’re included in the nationwide inventory. These standards eliminate unreliable models with title issues, major accident history or airbag deployment, electrical damage, odometer fraud, and more. By setting these standards, online dealerships give you the confidence you need to search for your dream car.
#3 Hassle-Free Trade-Ins
Most people typically trade their current vehicles in on a newer model. Buying a car online doesn’t eliminate this option but makes it more efficient. Many online car dealerships offer hassle-free trade-ins, which means you submit the information about your vehicle with a few pictures so that they can appraise the vehicle and make an offer. If you accept the offer, they’ll pick up your trade-in when they deliver your new model.
#4 Hassle-Free Pricing
How many times have you had to negotiate the price of a vehicle with a salesperson at a traditional dealership? Were you happy with the results, or do you feel like you paid more than what was fair? The great thing about buying a car online is that what you see is what you get. Just like the trade-in process is hassle-free, online car dealers promise a no-negotiation and no-hassle environment on every vehicle. The price posted is the baseline, and there’s no pressure from a salesperson to commit to the vehicle.
#5 Warranties and Protections
Buying a vehicle online doesn’t disqualify you from the same warranties and protections that you’d find if you purchased the vehicle from a dealership, at least not when you work with a reputable online dealership. These dealerships are typically associated with a larger, brick-and-mortar dealership and, as a result, can offer manufacturer-backed warranties on new and used models. This means more assurance in your online purchase and adds another level of protection that gives you more peace of mind when you’re on the road.
#6 Satisfaction Guarantee
While many critics argue that buying a car online means that you don’t get to see the vehicle for yourself, that’s not the case. Most online dealerships allow you to schedule a test drive at your convenience, which gives you ample time to look over the vehicle and ensure it’s what you want. But what happens if you find that you don’t like the vehicle after you purchase it? Just like major online retailers, online car dealerships offer a satisfaction guarantee that allows you to return or exchange the vehicle within a certain timeframe.
#7 Tailor Your Interaction
Buying a car online streamlines the entire process, but it doesn’t entirely eliminate the personal touch. You get to decide how much interaction with the sales representative you want or need based on the questions you have, your search, if you want to schedule a test drive, or if you prefer to pick up your vehicle in person. You may not have any questions and opt to skip the test drive, which means the process is nothing more than completing the paperwork and setting a time for delivery. Whatever the case, the process is exactly what you make it and allows you to still get the person-to-person interaction if you want it.
#8 Financing Made Easy
Unless you’re buying a vehicle online from an independent seller, the same finance options are available to you online that you’ll find at a traditional dealership. Most online car dealerships work with a variety of lenders, each of which sets its own guidelines and requirements for financing, i.e., credit score, debt ratio, etc. By working with a wide range of lenders, online car dealerships can find the best lender for your credit approval needs. This means an easier finance process and, in many cases, a better and more competitive interest rate on your loan that puts more money in your wallet for the long term.
Are You On Board?
Buying a car online is a growing trend that’s vastly changing the automotive landscape in America by eliminating the need to visit a traditional dealership to purchase a new or used vehicle. Online dealers are bringing the entire process to you, whether that means browsing for your dream vehicle from your smartphone while your kids are at soccer practice, learning more about your finance options while relaxing on the couch, or finalizing your paperwork in your office during lunch. You can literally shop for and buy a car from anywhere, thanks to online car dealerships.
What’s not to love? Online dealerships offer many of the same amenities and protections that you’ll find at traditional dealerships, which eliminates any hesitation you might have with purchasing a vehicle online. After all, buying a vehicle is a big commitment. That’s why online dealers go the extra mile to ensure the quality of their inventory and to deliver the same services like test drives, trade-in appraisals, warranties, and protections that give you confidence in your purchase. There’s no reason not to shop online for your next vehicle, which leads us to ask, “Are you on board?”