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Car Buying Goes Online

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Online shopping has become all the rage. Shoppers looking to spare themselves the hassle of parking-lot battles and swarming crowds hop online where the checkout lines are always short, and desired sizes are always in stock.

From clothes to furniture, and everything in between, online shopping takes the time and effort out of spending money. Shoppers are no longer constrained to mall hours, and purchases are delivered directly to their door.

Big purchases such as houses and cars, however, have remained mainly offline. It seems that may be changing. According to a recent study by Capgemini, the latest e-commerce fad is quickly becoming car buying.

The consulting firm’s study found 46 percent of new car buyers want to buy cars online, and have it delivered to their door. From shopping to financing, car buyers prefer to conduct their car buying experience fully online.

It’s a growing trend Autotrader is tapping into. The online car showroom conducted a similar study and found 33 percent prefer to shop, finance and buy their next car online.

But for anyone who has ever purchased something online only to find it wasn’t quite what they thought it would be once the product is delivered, buying cars online offers unique challenges.

While Autotrader and other online car dealerships attempt to root out fraud, there’s always a chance something will slip through. Most states do no require a “cooling-off” period wherein the car can be returned.

The risks associated with online car purchases are vastly reduced for new cars. New cars harbor less chance of mechanical issues. Manufacturer warranties counter some of the negatives as well.

Online car buying may, on the face of it, seem counterintuitive, but because most shoppers use online sites to compare prices of retail items, interest rates and special deals, the next natural progression seems to be online car purchases.


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