Finance

How COVID-19 is Changing the Way You Buy Cars


Buying a car is always a complicated process. With so many factors like make and model and price to consider, it can be difficult to know where to start. But changes to the typical buying process brought about by the coronavirus can actually make buying a car more simple.

Less Haggling

When it comes to buying a car, going to the dealership to talk with a car salesman seems to represent one of the hallmark steps in the process of getting new wheels. But now, as a result of COVID-19, more dealerships are trying to minimize in-person contact.

As a result, most interactions besides test driving the car can take place online or over the phone.  With less in-person interactions, you’re less likely to haggle over the price and get to things more objectively.

 

More Online Sales

Because social distancing precautions have limited the option of talking with dealers face-to-face in addition to going into a dealership, more research that you have to do about different cars must be done online. In fact, 65 percent of customers research online before buying a car.

As car dealerships have been impacted by COVID-19, there has been an increased focus on listing cars on sites like cars.com or autotrader.com. Because you’ll have to do more research online than in-person, it’s important that you invest time in researching different makes and models on websites like Kelley Blue Book.

Kelley Blue Book catalogs different cars’ makes and models to help you get a more accurate price range for a particular type of car you may be looking at. Having an idea of the range you’re looking at will be especially helpful when you start to talk with specific dealers.

More Small Dealers

As much of the market for car dealing goes increasingly online, smaller used car dealerships have increased opportunity. Because customers aren’t planning to simply go to a dealership and look at a company’s specific inventory to make a decision, options are much more open.

As a result, smaller niche dealerships can get greater attention from potential customers. Because smaller dealerships typically have lower overhead costs, they can also typically sell their cars for slightly less to make a profit. This ends up being a win-win for both the dealer and the customer.

Buying a car predominantly through online research and interaction can seem daunting at first. But it doesn’t have to be. Even amid the onslaught of changes brought about by COVID-19, you may actually be able to get a better deal in this post-COVID-19 world.

Read this next: How to Find a Reliable Used Car