The way people research and purchase cars is undergoing significant changes thanks to the rise of online shopping and new technologies. With more car buyers turning to the internet, the traditional car buying experience is evolving in major ways.

The Transformation of the Car Buying Experience

In the past, buying a new car often meant limited research options and relying heavily on auto dealerships for information. Today, the rise of digital has brought greater transparency to the process while empowering consumers. Here’s a look at some of the biggest impacts of technology on the car-buying experience:

How Digital is Changing the Car Buying Experience

Expanded Research

The internet provides car buyers access to a wealth of information for researching different makes and models. You can easily compare prices, read reviews, watch video overviews and access detailed specs online. This arms buyers with information and aids the purchase decision.

Virtual Showrooms

Many dealerships now provide virtual showrooms that mimic the on-site experience. You can take 3D tours of vehicles, build custom configurations, view inventories and communicate with sales reps digitally. This level of access makes the research process more convenient.

Third-Party Reviews

Online reviews offer unbiased insights into vehicles to complement automaker and dealer information. Platforms like J.D. Power and Consumer Reports provide safety ratings, satisfaction surveys, and reliability data to aid the selection process.

Price Transparency

The rise of online price comparison sites and tools has brought increased price transparency to car buying. You can easily see average asking prices, invoice prices, and market trends rather than rely solely on the dealer’s word.

Digital Retailing

Many steps of the buying process like securing financing, estimating payments, valuing trades and transacting paperwork can now be completed online for a streamlined experience. This reduces the time spent at the dealership.

Expanded Inventory

Search expanded inventories online, including both local dealer stock and vehicles available through online retailers. This opens up more options and makes finding the exact vehicle you want easier.

Custom Ordering

Digital tools allow you to custom configure your new car, selecting everything from the exterior colour to engine options to interior fabrics. Retailers can then source the custom build for you.

Without a doubt, the internet and new technologies have brought greater choice, convenience and transparency to consumers shopping for their next car. While dealerships are still valued for test drives and final purchases, the research and shopping experience is now a more empowered digital journey.