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Scott Carr
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Pros And Cons Of Buying A New Car

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Pros And Cons Of Buying A New Car

Consumers are growing more comfortable with buying a wide variety of things online, from fruits and vegetables to couches and cars. Partly by necessity and partly because we've realized how convenient and time-efficient it is, we've become quite comfortable with online buying.

Undoubtedly, there are pros and cons to buying a car online. While history favors the traditional in-person car-buying process, those who look to the future see a trend pointing toward an increase in online car-buying going forward.

The vast majority of American consumers now shop online for their next car. A summary of consumer behavior surveys in this area suggests that over two-thirds of car-buyers go online to research a car, find cars listed for sale, compare different models, determine what their current vehicle is worth, calculate car loan payments, and get dealer information. Car shoppers also use social media to learn about vehicles and dealerships. Shoppers enlist dealer website chat functionality to gain information and negotiate with car dealers as well.

If you asked these people if they are online car-buyers, they might tell you yes. But buying online is different than shopping online. By the strictest definition, a customer is buying a car online only if they complete the entire transaction from start to finish using the Internet.

New-car buyers are often thought of as different from used-car buyers, and in many ways, they are. However, one thing they share is the propensity to go online to perform vehicle and dealer research. Several consumer behavior studies indicate that nearly 75% of both new-car and used-car shoppers use websites and apps to conduct at least some of their research and shopping.

Their marketing messages often emphasize their clients' ability to avoid visiting a dealer and talking to a car salesperson. In actuality, though, they technically are car dealers because virtually all 50 states require any business that sells more than a handful of vehicles each year to hold a dealer's license. The online used-car retailers have changed how the buying public perceives them because of the online experiences they offer.

Now, some individual new-car dealers and dealer groups also offer end-to-end online car buying. Their goal is to deliver the same ease and transparency that the online sellers of other products offer their customers. At the same time, their traditional dealership activities for conducting test drives, getting service, and comparison shopping are also available to their customers.

One of the significant benefits of buying a car online is that it often saves time. Few of us want to spend an entire Tuesday night or Saturday morning in a car dealership trying to get a deal done. Using this traditional method, consumers and dealer personnel can spend hours on a single transaction, and neither side is pleased about that. Online car-buying can streamline the process by enabling time-consuming chores, like filling out paperwork, to be done at the customer's leisure.

Equally appealing to many car buyers is the no-negotiation/no-haggle nature of an online car deal. Typically, prices are clearly posted, and as consumers submit personal information regarding their credit history, trade-in vehicle, preferred down payment, and other details, the numbers automatically update. Sellers present each consumer with the same baseline pricing, and typically those prices are non-negotiable. For many modern car buyers, that's just the way they want it to be.

At the same time, there is no sales pressure. The deal is not shepherded along by a salesperson whose commission and livelihood depend on the deals she or he makes. Usually, there is someone on the dealer's staff who does care about those things, but they don't come into personal contact with the customer. While plenty of car salespeople are lovely, honest, nice-to-know people, a significant percentage of the American car-buying public is hap


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