We’ve been in the “digital age” for nearly a decade, but the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the process tenfold across the nation. Now, businesses across nearly every industry are taking their storefronts online for a safer, more accessible shopping experience.
The auto industry has been following closely behind, and now you can buy a car from start to finish in a matter of minutes from any device or location.
Read on to learn how to make the most out of your experience while buying a car online.
Conduct Thorough Research
You might have all of the information you’d ever need at your fingertips, but all of the internet searches in the world won’t help you if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Comparing rates, features, and capabilities across all of the models you’re considering will prevent you from losing money during the negotiation process.
Before you even set a (virtual) foot onto the marketplace of your choice, make sure you have an idea of the type of car you want and what you need it to do.
Are you looking for a high-performance sports car or a roomy minivan? Automatic or manual transmission? Two doors, four doors, or hatchback? All of these elements are essential when it comes to setting your budget and expectations.
Visit an Auto Showroom Online
If you’re located in one of the many states that is still limiting in-person commerce during the pandemic, you don’t have to put off your goal of driving a new car. Now, it’s possible to view a dealer’s entire inventory by going to the auto showroom online.
Online showrooms give sellers the ability to showcase their entire available inventory without the overhead of maintaining a physical dealership. Also, customers can browse at their leisure without the stress of working with an onsite salesperson. This puts more decision-making power into the buyer’s hands, increasing customer satisfaction.
Get a Vehicle History Report
If you’re buying a used car, it’s crucial to have a verifiable history of your new purchase. This will give you an insight into information about the vehicle, such as:
- Past accidents and collisions
- Sales and transfers
- Repairs and maintenance
- Mechanical issues or blemishes
Requesting a written record of the car’s quality and performance history from the seller is a simple way to get peace of mind in your new vehicle.
Take a Test Drive
This one is a no-brainer, but you shouldn’t buy a car without knowing what you’re going to be taking home. However, just because you’re not visiting a physical dealership doesn’t mean you can’t test out your prospective purchase. Many retailers are using augmented reality and virtual reality technology to give buyers a realistic test drive digitally.
These systems use 360-degree product photography in a realistic, responsive digital environment. You can test your car in the terrain of your choice, or in a realistic cityscape that matches your commute.
This also gives prospective buyers a closer look at the finer details of the car they’re interested in. From the interior to the rims, features like image zoom and responsive manipulation put the control in your hands from your mobile device, laptop, or home computer.
Buying a car online is easier than ever thanks to improved mobile tools, enhanced multi-angle imaging, and seamless ecommerce platforms. By utilizing mobile apps and AR/VR photography to simplify the shopping experience, car buyers can get the level of service that they’d expect at the dealership without the hassle.