In the recent times, everyone & everything has turned towards the online platform due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. This includes automobile sector too. After online shopping of accessories, there is now a trend to purchase a car from Online Portals. Both second-Hand & brand-new cars can be purchased via their respective portals. But is it really that good to purchase a car online ? Today, we’ll discuss about this topic.
1. Freedom of Choice
When buying online, there is no limit on place, time & options. There is complete freedom for buyers to keep searching till they can narrow down their search to a single product. There are various helplines which help the first-time-buyers in making a choice. If going for purchasing a second-hand vehicle, one can just call the dealer to get more information & start negotiations accordingly. There is also a ‘Make an offer’ tool on many websites which helps you start the negotiation according to your research.
2. Easy Financing
There are various attractive finance schemes offered by various manufacturers for buying vehicles online. Hidden costs are also visible in this process. There is better transparency between dealer and buyer than offline purchase. There is a chance that the prices are cheaper than Dealership (till some extent). Some websites also provide calculators to help on loans & EMI.
3. Doorstep Service
There is also an option of getting the vehicle purchased online to be delivered to your doorstep just like other products. Of course, there is also the more traditional option of picking the vehicle from dealership. In current situation though, that option is inadvisable due to risk of getting infected.
4. Various Customization options
The Online Car configurators are the latest addition in the process of buying a new car. In these, you can add or remove customizable elements provided by company to match your personality. You can even change the overall look of the vehicle by adding various official accessories to it. Most importantly, all changes you do are visible on the screen which helps you visualize the look of your car with all the customizations applied. There is also a 360o walkthrough of the vehicle.
Disadvantages of Online Car Shopping –
1. Lack of Cash Discounts & Negotiation chances
Buying a vehicle online is beneficial to both customers and companies. There is no option to negotiate & asking for free services/accessories with vehicle too when purchasing the vehicle online. In such purchase, the full amount is transferred & there is nothing like cash discount as no offline cash transaction is done.
2. Risk Of Frauds
Not everything that can be seen online is true. There might be some hidden costs involved such as if dealer is asking extra money for delivery of the vehicle. This cost will be included in the asking price of the vehicle which will be paid by the buyer. Also, some websites might be fraudulent and intended to take your money. So, before buying a car, do the research to ensure that the website is real.
3. No Touch & Feel
This problem mostly occurs while buying a second-hand car online. During the online buying procedure, it is not possible to touch & feel the product. The feeling of a real-life test drive cannot be simulated in a simulator. For the first time buyer, test drive is an essential thing. While buying a second-hand car, a test drive can let you know about the ‘hidden’ problems in the car which the seller didn’t mention. Thus, not having the test drive can lead to problems in the future.
Overall, buying a car online is a risky move considering the risk of frauds involved and the absence of cash discounts & negotiation. On the other hand, it gives more shopping choices, easy financing and vehicle customization options with doorstep delivery. If the website is legitimate, gives better discounts/allows to negotiate and offers a test drive before buying, online vehicle shopping is a good option.
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