The car buying process has always been a tried and true rite of passage people go through at various stages of life. For the first time since car buying has been a thing, the way people buy cars has changed dramatically. The online model of business has impacted car buying and the consumer experience for the better. Here are eight ways car buying has shifted since the digital revolution has taken place.
1. Gaining Knowledge About Brands
The most noticeable change in the car buying process of today when compared to what it was like decades ago is consumer knowledge. The average car buyer of today spends at least 11 hours online researching vehicles before making a purchase. In the past, consumers may have looked to car commercials, family and friends, or dealerships for knowledge about vehicle brands. Today, however, they are finding out about brands through detailed internet research.
2. Shopping for the Lowest Car Loan Rate
The other big shift that has occurred in car buying as a result of having access to the internet and computers is with financing. Years ago, dealership finance offices had an easier time of securing loan packages along with the car purchase. In today’s setting, many consumers research financing options well before they visit the dealership and often come into the finance office with other offers. This helps consumers negotiate their loan and get a much lower interest rate.
3. Selling Previously Owned Vehicles
Next, dealers aren’t getting as many car buyers to trade in their vehicle as they have in the past. Some consumers are getting much more from their older trade-in by putting it up for sale online. They often check the value of their used vehicle with online sites such as Kelley Blue Book. This information helps car buyers get a better understanding of their old car’s worth and gives them more options for getting more money to put down on the new vehicle.
4. Finding the Exact Make and Model
Many years ago, when consumers visited the dealership, their only car purchase options were limited to what the dealer’s inventory held. Now, many dealerships are connected and can easily offer cars for buyers at partner dealerships. Some consumers can check inventory online and visit the dealer that offers the exact make and model they want instead of settling for a car that doesn’t have all of their preferences.
5. Getting Your Car Delivered
Busy consumers can also take advantage of free vehicle delivery service. There’s no need to spend an entire day at the dealership waiting around for paperwork and your new car to be ready to drive. This hassle of buying a car is inconvenient for many with a hectic lifestyle. Instead, some buyers can opt to have their new vehicle delivered and avoid waiting around for car cleaning, tags, titling, and registration.
6. Understanding the Vehicle History Report
Consumers today can also benefit from the luxury of detailed car accident and incident reports. Before going through with a purchase, car buyers should check out the car history to make sure that gleaming new vehicle isn’t hiding any terrible secrets, such as accidents, flood damage, or fire. Car buying scams from the past are easier to avoid with these vehicle history reports. These reports also make it much simpler to find a reliable used car.
7. Finding the Best Price
Another great thing about having vast access to information from the internet is it makes price shopping more fun and beneficial to the consumer. Buying a new car doesn’t mean you need to be locked into the suggested price from the manufacturer. The internet makes it easy to shop around and get quotes from other dealers for your dream car. Or, you can bring a quote to a physical dealership and ask them to offer you a better deal.
8. Writing Reviews and Recommendations
The last way the new digital setting has changed how people buy cars is through online feedback. Dealers and salespeople are now held more accountable for their services with online reviews. If you have a bad experience, you can publish your thoughts online for other consumers and impact a shady dealership’s reputation.
The car buying process today is not the same as your mother and father’s experiences many years ago. As a result, you get more options, better pricing, and more convenience.