Shopping as we know it has changed considerably over the last few years. Now, people are looking to buy everything online. Businesses have capitalized on it, and have changed their marketing strategies. The change in marketing dynamics has impacted nearly every industry, including the automotive sector.
Research by eMarketer showed that 15.91 billion dollars were spent on digital ads by the automotive industry in 2019, in the US. It was a 15.8 percent increase compared to 2018’s digital ad spending.
It means that even the automotive industry has moved from brick-and-mortar showrooms to online stores due to the change in consumer demand.
Although buying a car can be an exciting experience; however, for some people, buying a car online can turn out to be an intimidating one. They are skeptical about the quality and are unsure whether they will get what they are being shown.
To ease some of those worries, we’ve compiled a list of 6 important things that you should consider before buying a car online. It will surely help you make the best purchase.
- Conduct a Thorough Research
According to a study conducted by Cox, people who are interested in buying a car spend an average of around 14 hours online during their search. Similarly, Automotive Shopper Study conducted in 2017 revealed that 95 percent of car buyers use digital to search for relevant information.
We’ve often heard ‘knowledge is power.’ That’s the number 1 rule you should follow when buying a car. You can find details regarding cars on different sites. It is critical to research, and find out all important details, such as:
- Which cars are falling in your budget?
- What are their notable features?
- Is your desired car reliable?
- Which after-sales services will be included in the package?
- Is the manufacturer or dealer reliable?
So, if you’re looking to make a smart purchase, you need to have the answers to the questions mentioned above before buying a car.
- Consider the Different Options for Financing
There are several different options for financing a car. Some of the most common ones are leasing the car, opting for a loan, or buying through cash payment.
- Financing through Loan
People who don’t have enough money for a one-time payment, finance the car by taking a loan. The good thing about this option is that you wouldn’t have to hand over a huge lump sum amount; instead, you can pay in the form of small monthly payments.
- Leasing a Car
If you don’t have the hefty amount to buy a car today, you can get it leased. It would involve making a down payment, followed by monthly payments. Nonetheless, the downside of this financing option is that it involves restrictions, like you cannot make any changes to the car over the leasing period, etc.
- Paying via Cash
This financing option gives you all the car rights, but it involves arranging a huge amount of upfront cash, which is not possible for everyone.
- Compare the Price of Cars on different websites
According to Autotrader, 71 percent of consumers research car prices before buying a car. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re buying the car at the best price is by comparing the prices from different car dealers. It involves researching about the MSRP, deal add-ons, hidden discounts, etc.
You can get this information from a reliable website that compares prices on different websites and offers comprehensive pricing details. Such websites also have a reviews section that can help you make an informed choice.
- Test Drive the Car that you Wish to Buy
The latest survey of roughly 2,000 automotive consumers found that, before purchasing, 16 percent of people took no test-drive, and 33 percent test-drove only one car.
A test drive allows you to assess whether the car is comfortable or not. Here are a few things that should be checked during a test drive:
- While entering the car, assess whether the car is easy to get in or not.
- Adjust the seat to check the seat adjustment options available.
- Check if you’re easily able to adjust the side mirrors or not.
- While driving the car, check whether the drive was smooth or not.
So, if you want to ensure that the car you’re buying is perfect in every way, make sure you do the test drive first.
- Choose a Reliable Dealer
Researches have shown that more people now prefer to buy and sell cars online instead of visiting a dealership store. Purchasing a car online allows convenience, enables the person to make a better choice, and compare the options to get the best deal.
However, the most important thing to keep in mind when buying a car online is to opt for a trustworthy dealership that has a reputation for selling the best cars.
Relying on a trustworthy dealer offers a hassle-free buying experience. A reputed dealer will also offer different financing options, car delivery service, and warranty as well.
- See a Mechanic When Purchasing a Used Car
Not everyone plans on buying a new car. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global used car market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.81 percent during 2019-2024. This shows that the used car market has witnessed worldwide growth due to rising car prices and shorter car ownership periods.
So, if you’re planning to buy a used car, it is critical to get it checked by your mechanic. This will help you in identifying any signs of wear and tear, or potential technical issues in the car, thus affecting your purchase decision.
Apart from this, the mechanic’s feedback might also help you negotiate a lower price for the used car as you’d be well aware of its actual condition.
The key takeaway is that purchasing a car is not an everyday decision. Hence it requires a considerable amount of attention. The best way to go about it is to conduct rigorous research regarding the process. It will help you make an informed decision by negotiating the best deal, whether you’re buying a new or used car.