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Veering to Virtual Shopping? The Pros and Cons of Online vs. Traditional Car Buying

Purchasing a car entails a lot of decision-making, research, and choices. In the digital world, your options are even more multitudinous than they were just twenty years ago. Today, you can visit the car dealership in person or buy a vehicle online and have it shipped directly to your garage. The worlds of grinning salespeople and flashy online websites collide for today’s vehicle consumer.

When it comes to buying a car, shopping in person or online both have pros and cons, and you’ll want to be aware of them before making any final decisions. 

Buying a car online

More and more Americans are leaning towards purchasing a car online instead of traditional buying. Does that mean it’s the best way to go about purchasing your car? While buying a car online has its advantages, there are downsides in some circumstances. Consider all the aspects involved in this form of shopping.

Less time spent shopping

With virtual shopping, you simply search for the car you’re looking for from the comfort of your home. You can choose from hundreds of vehicles without all the moving around from one dealership to another. 

Reduces time spent at the DMV

With virtual shopping, cutting the red tape is more manageable. You need not line up at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) waiting to attend to issues such as paying sales taxes, vehicle licensing, and filing paperwork. 

The online dealership takes care of all these things.

No haggling

Virtual shopping makes car buying easier as there’s no room for negotiation. You land on the seller’s online store knowing that the sticker price is what you pay. 

Therefore, you waste no time without all the haggling, and if you feel it’s not the right deal, you can quickly move on to the next opportunity.

Ease of buying a car out of state

Online buying allows you to purchase a car from another state. You can access a wide range of brands that may not be available at your local dealerships. In addition, it may end up saving you some money.

That said, buying out of state has its challenges, one being the shipping process. But don’t worry, you partner with a reputable auto shipping provider like Guardian Auto Transport to deliver your car on time and with fewer hassles.

Cons of online car buying

  • Online car dealerships offer no incentives. 

  • You cannot view the car in person, test-drive it immediately, or get to learn about its unfamiliar features well.

  • It takes a long time to have your car delivered, especially when buying from out of state. 

Buying from traditional dealerships

Some folks still prefer buying a car in person for many reasons.

Incentives are available

Traditional car sellers often offer incentives. Manufacturers give these incentives to lower the vehicle price, encouraging more sales. 

In addition, the salesperson assists you in understanding all features of the vehicle.

You can test drive the car

When buying a car from a dealership, you have the chance to test-drive the exact vehicle you’re buying. That way, you get firsthand experience of the vehicle, and if it doesn’t feel right, you can opt for another one.

Faster car delivery

It’s possible to have your car delivered within hours of purchasing from a local dealer. This speed is convenient, especially where you need the car quickly for business or personal purposes.

Cons of traditional car buying

  • It takes a lot of time to shop for a vehicle by visiting one dealership after another. It can be tiring.
  • You spend much time at the DMV dealing with taxes, licensing, and other paperwork issues by yourself.
  • Negotiating with a salesperson can be daunting as you haggle for a lower price. In fact, 61% of Americans feel like the dealership takes advantage of them when there.
  • You have no access to some car brands, especially brands yet to arrive in your state. 

Final thoughts

If you’re planning to buy a car, you have all the details you need to choose between virtual shopping and traditional car buying. The vehicle industry itself is evolving at a breakneck pace, and now, so is the way we buy our cars. 

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