Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Two boys are playing with toy cars in front of woman who is shopping on a laptop at an online car dealership.

Skip The Showroom: Why Buying A Car Online Will Save Your Sanity

Today’s busy lifestyles are aided significantly by technology. After all, gone are the days when we needed a map to find our way to a destination. All we have to do is ask Siri. As we navigate this new digital world, it’s only natural to examine how we can use it to our advantage and add more convenience to our lives. Something we all want more of is time, after all. Take the online car dealership. Is there even such a thing? No industry is rooted in tradition more than the car industry. We’ve seen Amazon take over retail and Uber replace the old taxi, but people still drive miles and miles to visit a dealership in order to buy a new or used car, but is there a better way?

Maybe you’re ready to buy a car. You’re dreading the logistics and the time suck, but it’s time, so you take a deep breath and prepare to start driving all over town. But wait! What if there’s a way for you to buy your car just as easily as that new pair of sunglasses you bought with one click on Amazon? You see a shred of hope and type into google, how can I buy a car without going to a dealership? Enter the online car dealer.

How Does It Work?

You might be scratching your head, wondering how in the world you can buy such a big-ticket item completely online. It’s actually much easier than you might think. Aside from the test drive, your buying and delivery experience can occur completely virtually.

We already know that most research takes place online. Early in the buying cycle, shoppers are visiting manufacturer websites, scrolling through third-party automobile classifieds, and even checking to whet their appetites and begin the process of deciding what they want. The online dealership takes this process further by guiding you through the sales cycle in that online format.

Let’s say you’ve chosen the car you want. Now it’s time to locate it and walk through the steps, like financing, signing paperwork, dealing with a trade-in, and taking delivery of your new car. Online dealerships work by locating the vehicle for you. You simply tell them what you want or if you only have an idea, you can work with an online sales consultant who is trained to guide you through the decision process and ultimately pair you up with your dream car. Leave it up to them to find your dream car for you. This happens via email exchange, chat, and even over the phone if you prefer a live discussion.

Next comes financing. A great online dealership will offer the same range of competitive financing options as a traditional dealer. You can lease, purchase, or trade-in your old car, all with the expert guidance of a finance professional. How relaxing to handle this part of your transaction from the comfort of your own home! No more endless waiting in an uncomfortable chair in the local dealer’s showroom while the salesperson wears out the carpet walking back-and-forth from the finance office, bringing you option after option. You’ll save time and lots of headaches calmly reviewing your options – on your timeline – from your cozy armchair at home.

A woman is leaning on the hood of a black car with a cellphone.

Trade-Ins, Delivery, and Other In-Person Business

This is all great, but there are some parts of car buying that involve in-person interaction. That’s true, but why can’t that happen in your driveway instead of you taking on the inconvenience of driving to a dealership? The answer is, it can! This is the real beauty of an online car dealership. They’ll come to you.

Online car dealers exist to make your car buying experience more convenient, and when it comes time to sign on the dotted line and trade your old car for the new one, these online dealers really step up to make the process painless and easy. Once you’ve selected your vehicle and completed the financing, you’ll schedule the delivery. Yes, the online dealer will personally deliver your new vehicle right to your driveway, and while they’re there, they’ll take your trade-in, so you don’t have to worry about it.

During the delivery process, the online dealer will ask you to sign your paperwork. Again, this process happens at your home, so you don’t have to go anywhere. Your only job once the online transaction is done is to answer the door and meet your delivery driver, then collect your keys and say goodbye to your old car or truck.

Bringing It All Together

A young man is looking at online car dealerships from his Columbus, OH, couch.

One other interesting characteristic of online dealerships is that many are an extension of traditional brick-and-mortar showrooms. In other words, they’re managed by traditional dealership owners, which means you’ll get all the benefits of the ‘old’ way of buying a car without having to participate in the dated processes required.

Sometimes new technology is daunting because we worry about what to expect and what might go wrong. We typically see what some call early adopters dipping their toes in the water and acting as human guinea pigs to try out a new product or service. After all, someone had to be the first Uber passenger! These early adopters tend to bear the brunt of the bugs and hiccups usually associated with anything new. In the case of an online dealership, they’re affiliated with traditional car dealerships and run by the same management. From the very first customer, online car dealerships are the experts.

Your experience will be guided by experts that understand both car buying and technology. They’ll be comfortable interacting with you virtually, and they know how to bridge any gaps in understanding or hesitations on your part about the viability of an online car buying transaction. Their expertise is centered on providing great customer service regardless of the medium. What this means for you is a certainty that they’ll walk you through the entire process with patience and help you overcome any concerns that might arise as a result of the newness of the online car buying process.

Technological revolutions are happening all around us, and we are benefitting from added convenience and newer, more simple ways to conduct business. The service-centered process of buying a car should be no different, and that’s why automotive retailers are moving to an online sales model. They know that consumers need efficiency and that embracing technology like the internet is the best and most prudent way to revolutionize car buying.

We love online car dealerships for so many reasons, not the least of which is that – finally – car buying can be fun. Your car purchase is one of the most significant investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Traditionally this experience is littered with stress, inconvenience, and tedious boredom. It doesn’t have to be this way! Your purchase experience should be exciting, and at no point should that excitement be stifled by exhausting processes and antiquated procedures. Instead, you should feel empowered by the entire car buying experience. Online car dealerships thrive on your happiness. They work hard to take on all the inconveniences, so you don’t have to. Ready to buy online? We don’t blame you. It’s the next best way to purchase your new vehicle.