Sales at Online Car Retailers Up More Than a Third

Sales at Online Car Retailers Up More Than a Third

Online used car dealers are thriving with the computer chip shortage and a pandemic upending the auto industry. In 2021, sales at the three most significant online merchants - Carvana, CarMax and Vroom - were up more than a third from the previous year.

Josh Sadlier, director of the content strategy at Edmunds, says online used car sellers are revolutionizing the used car market. "The visibility they give you into the vehicle and purchasing process gives you more confidence," he said.

It's easier to buy a used car online than a traditional dealership because you don't have to deal with the hassles caused by inventory shortages. Shopping online means you know the vehicle you're looking at is available, and you know the price to drive it off the lot.

Now that you know how the online car buying process works, you'll be able to find the car of your ambitions while streaming your favorite show. However, you need a different approach from a traditional dealer when you're ready to buy.

Here's what you need to know about this emerging demand: Because there are more buyers than available cars, you won’t have to worry about the vehicle being sold before you reach the car lot. Once you pick the right car on the company's website and put down a deposit, it's yours.

Here's what else you get when you shop online:
Transparency is essential - Dealerships conceal some fees until the contract is presented. If you buy online, you can see everything, as well as a breakdown of the price, before you make a buying decision.

Negotiations are not permitted - Online sellers typically offer fixed pricing for both the vehicle you wish to purchase and your trade-in.

Provides convenience - You can browse online inventories, apply for financing, and have the vehicle shipped to your home or office for signing.
A warranty covers it. These car sellers typically include a limited warranty lasting between seven and 30 days. Consumers can also purchase an extended warranty for a fixed price from them.

The disadvantages of online shopping
The most significant disadvantage of purchasing a vehicle remotely is testing to drive the car. When buyers have access to much information and specifications online, they may overlook the importance of a test drive. Only by driving a vehicle can one truly experience its authentic look, feel and sound.

Additionally, buying on the internet has several disadvantages:
Cars are only available in used condition - a franchised new-car dealership is the only place where you can purchase a new vehicle.

There are few options for negative equity - negative equity is often buried under new car loans by traditional car dealerships. A dealer will include this amount in your next loan if you are upside down - owing more than your car is worth. However, a transaction over the Internet will require you to provide the amount in advance.

You cannot examine it, and online dealers advertise comprehensive pre-purchase inspections. Nonetheless, it is a used car and will wear and tear, and only once the vehicle has arrived at your location will you be able to see its actual condition.

There is a limited amount of older inventory available - a car dealership online is not the place to find a $5,000 beater. For those on a very tight budget, Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace may be better sources for finding an affordable car.