Concerned about the quick success of car-broking websites such as Carwow.co.uk, which searches dealerships for the cheapest model, manufacturers now want their own sales platforms.
In January, Peugeot and Citroen also entered the online new car buying market. If you find yourself sceptical about whether online sales will work, visit Bluewater in Kent, or Westfield Stratford shopping centre in East London. Both Jaguar Land Rover and Hyundai have models on display, but to buy one you have to go online. So far, there’s been no shortage of customers choosing to configure and purchase their new cars via the net, with thousands of sales already being notched up.
By going online customers can select the precise specifications they require, including colour and engine size, then part-exchange their old car and arrange finance, before deciding as to whether they want their new model delivered to a dealership or to their home. Then all they have to do is click “pay” and the process is said to take as little as half an hour. In practice of course, that’s probably only going to be achievable if you have already decided on the exact model you wish to purchase and on how you are going to pay for it.
With even test drives and viewings being offered, now, for the first time it is perfectly possible for a motorist to buy a new car without going anywhere near a conventional dealership.
Customers using the new websites will find that the prices are fixed, so it could be cheaper to visit a fully-fledged car showroom. Therefore, there has been some resistance from potential car buyers has been encountered though with one visiting Hyundai’s car store saying that they’d still like to negotiate with a salesman to explore the possibility of gaining a further discount. Another said that he’d never wish to buy a car online as it could mean missing out on special deals. He said: “I’d rather negotiate. Online you can’t negotiate.”