In the last few years, car shopping has left the lot for the dot com. As more people shop online or even sort out their car finance online before they consider setting foot in a car dealership, the car-buying model is undergoing a facelift. Here’s what you can expect from the automobile industry and your buying experience heading into 2022.
The growing popularity of online car buying
When buyers cannot find their perfect vehicle at a local dealership, they turn to online car buying. These online dealerships open up the selection beyond borders with the help of professional auto transportation services that can transport the car to another state of the buyer’s choosing.
Auto transport companies have enabled car buyers to open their options. These safe and reliable shipping companies take care of the vehicles in their charge and deliver new cars to dealerships or directly to buyers’ front doors. The new ease of interstate car shipping means online auto dealerships are here to stay.
Changing the car-buying model at Tesla
With outdated laws in some states, Tesla had to create a new business model to sell cars all over the country. Tesla showrooms let visitors see and test drive their electric models, but buyers have to order their new cars through the company website. Other electric vehicle manufacturers like Rivian and Lucid are copying this functional model.
Spending less time in the dealership
With COVID-19 forcing people to work from their computers and the safety of their homes, car buying at dealerships is going the way of the dodo bird. Customers ask questions through automated bots and learn more about cars and financing through email and online apps.
Car buyers reported more satisfaction when they didn’t have to spend hours in dealerships. Today’s consumers can complete all of the financing paperwork online and pick up their vehicle at their convenience, avoiding the hours-long wait at a car lot.
Full-service dealerships doing well
While many car buyers turn to online shopping, they still need dealerships for repairs and maintenance. New cars often come with free oil changes and other complementary services, so dealerships still see their customers every 5,000 miles.
Dealerships are also continuing to see buyers who want new cars. Many of the online dealerships only buy and sell used cars. So, if buyers want a new vehicle, they have to turn to traditional dealerships. With so much innovation in technology and safety features, buyers are snapping up new cars as soon as they hit the lots.
Virtual reality test drives
Car buyers rarely buy a new or used car without test drives, but virtual reality could change this. High-tech dealerships will soon implement test-driving experiences through AR or VR headsets.
Drivers who have headsets at home can take a test drive from the comfort of their homes. Without the need for in-person test drives, dealerships might see a decrease in customer visits.
The car-buying experience is undergoing dramatic shifts. Car buyers are shopping online and spending a minimal amount of time at dealerships if they visit at all. In the future, car dealerships could become obsolete, especially when drivers no longer need to take test drives.