Would You Buy Your Car Online?
A recent survey of the US and other countries showed that three-quarters of people would buy cars online if the service existed.
Will buying cars online become popular in Australia?
This explains the popularity of services such as the UK's popular 'CarSpring', where you can finance a new or used car, have it serviced and delivered to your door without needing to front up to a dealership.
Are Australians ready for buying cars online?
According to surveys by Roy Morgan and Accenture, more than half of us would buy a car online, given the opportunity. In Australia in March 2017, Roy Morgan's SMS poll revealed that 42 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women would buy a car completely online.
SMS Survey: "Would you buy a car entirely online without going through the traditional dealership process?"
Trends skewed towards those with a higher socio-economic profile, with the highest willingness to buy cars online from those aged 25 to 49 years (37 per cent).
States which would be more likely to embrace buying cars online, not surprisingly, are Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
How about overseas?
Overseas an even higher proportion of consumers, 75 per cent, are willing to buy cars online, given the opportunity. This survey asked 10,000 consumers across eight countries including Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and the USA in 2015.
"Given the opportunity, would you go through the entire purchase process of a car directly online, including financing, price negotiation, back-office paperwork and delivery to your house?"
50 per cent of drivers expect that they will be able to buy cars online within the next three to five years, but only eight per cent of drivers expect that car purchases will be viable with just a click on a smartphone.
More than a third of those surveyed are already using the internet to form their choice of the car before attending a dealership. When searching online, people want more tailored information, with 48 per cent requesting virtual demonstrations of new car models.
For many, 37 per cent, personal interaction and viewing the car will remain an important part of the purchase process. The physical interaction with the vehicle before purchase is the part that would be missed by most consumers. Despite this, 63 per cent would purchase a new car in an online auction.
Why buy cars online?
Like any other purchase that you make, buying cars online and having the product delivered to your door can take a lot of hassle out of the process. From clothing to groceries to homewares, and even car loans, prices and range of choice are often greater online than in your local stores.
The much-hyped Amazon launch in Australia in December hasn't made the waves expected, showing that the online market here is already strong whether you're buying tech, white goods, or cosmetics.
Adding vehicles to this list makes sense, taking out the hassle of pushy sales tactics, haggling over prices, test driving the car, and completing paperwork.
What are options for buying cars online now?
Right now in Australia you can't complete the entire process online, but there are lots of great Car Websites you can use during your research phase.
To buy the car, though, you still have to go to the location of the dealer or private seller, take it for a test drive, and negotiate the sale price. Getting car loans online first will make the process a bit quicker, leaving one less thing to get done at the dealership.
Autogenie offers a semi-online buying service. You will still need to arrange car loans, and you're limited to buying brand new cars. Delivery and the final sale is arranged through the dealership who's quote you select.
What will buying cars online be like?
We are pretty sure you'll be able to complete the entire car purchase process online in the near future. From researching and choosing your car, to car loans and having it delivered to your door.
Of course, these car buying services would need to come with a longer 'money-back' guarantee as you would be purchasing the car sight unseen.
Toyota brand Scion is committed to making car purchase "Feel More Like Buying An iPad."
Scion, a Toyota brand aimed at youth in the US, are trialling their 'Pure Process+' with the end goal of being able to sell cars on sites like Amazon.
Instead of requiring four or more hours for the car purchase, the entire process can be over in less than an hour, and then all the customer has to do it pick up the keys and drive.
Also in the US, Autonation have built a 'digital storefront' where customers can do most of the car selection and paperwork online, before completing the paperwork at the dealership.
What's wrong with the current car purchase process?
Only 17 per cent of people surveyed by Autotrader said they like the car buying process just as it is. The rest indicate that they want to see significant changes, including the ability to conduct negotiation of the deal online and to remain anonymous until the deal structure is locked in.
72 per cent indicated that they want to complete the car loan application online to save time at the dealership.
Buying cars online promises to be quicker, more transparent, less stressful and less complicated. Right now, car dealerships are lagging behind fashion, tech, supermarkets, and even car loans. We're looking forward to seeing a car buying revolution.