Digitization has come with a firm step in almost all areas of our lives. The way we buy has not only changed with products such as clothing or food. It has also affected the way we buy cars. So much so that today it is possible buy a second hand car online.
Something that until a few years ago we could not even imagine because the only way to buy a car was to visit a dealer. But now more methods of buying and used car sales. It is an easy, comfortable and fast way to buy the car we want (brand, model, power, color, finishes, etc.).
Not only does it allow us to see and compare models and prices, but now it is now possible to complete the entire process until reaching the final purchase. The figures tell us that it is a new way of buying a vehicle that more and more people in Spain.
A practice that has just taken off, motivated above all by the pandemic, and that, according to the study Global Automotive Executive Survey 2021carried out by KMPG worldwide, 62% of the managers of the automotive sector anticipate that In 2030, more cars will be sold online than in dealerships. What’s more: although the sale in the digital channel is not finished, more than 80% of current car sales in Spain start with searches and procedures on the Internet.
Despite these data, buying cars online still raises important questions. While for some people it may be a good way to save themselves the stress of face-to-face negotiation, others are still skeptical of this process. Do we have the same protections when shopping online? Is it safe to buy a car online?
Problems when buying a new car
These are questions that many people still ask themselves when they consider buying a car online for the first time, something normal if we take into account that until just a decade ago the possibility of doing so was remote.
The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) already warned in 2016 of the precautions we should take when buying a car online. The most common problems and challenges What he proposed then were:
- Make sure the vehicle we choose is available: It may happen that the vehicles that are offered are obsolete and that they offer us alternatives.
- problems to contact: in some cases there are difficulties in being able to give the data of the assigned dealer or to speak with a commercial.
- price divergences: sometimes the price that is offered on the web and the one that the commercial exposes is not the same.
- Long trips to the assigned dealer: It may happen that the distance between the place of origin of the buyer and the assigned dealer reaches even 400 km, something that must be assessed if it really pays off.
- Problems to have the budget in writing: in some cases there is reluctance to have a budget broken down with the offer they make us.
Just like any other type of online sale, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it from a dealer you can trust.
Brief guide to buying a car online
We must bear in mind that a 100% transaction onlineAnd it is not yet possible because at some point or another the commercial or contact person must intervene or some type of operation must be carried out in the bank.
For the operation to be a complete success, there are a series of guidelines and details to which we must pay special attention. Marc Olive, CEO of GO Enginedetails some of the most important:
- Know the interlocutor: In the world of vehicles there are two types of platforms, those that do not own the cars they advertise and sell, and those that do, like GOMotor, which have their own cars and advertise them on the Internet. “Dealing with a platform of proven reliability is the first step,” acknowledges Oliva.
- Check creditworthiness: there are certain details that offer us clues. One is the photos of the vehicle, we must be wary of those that are made outdoors, on the street. Another important point is to look at the description of the vehicle (condition, if it has any type of load, if it has been involved in an accident…). “Many times in these details we already have good reasons to rule out that it is not what we are looking for,” acknowledges Oliva.
- Check the type of conditions offered by the seller: the possibility of testing the vehicle, of returning it, the delivery conditions, the management of guarantees (the law obliges any professional to give a minimum guarantee of 12 months). Especially in the sale of second-hand vehicles, it is important “to know that once you have kept the car on the other end of the phone, you have someone who can answer any type of question”, admits Marc Oliva.
- Read the fine print of the warranty conditions: It is a right that the consumer has, such as the possibility of being able to see the history of the vehicle, a traffic report to know where it came from, how many owners it has had, what the condition of the mechanics is, how the car has been treated. Second-hand car sales companies guarantee that a vehicle can travel several thousand kilometers before needing any service. For Oliva, “any reference portal must advocate for transparency because it is the best way for the client to trust and have a good experience.”
What signs make us suspect that it is not a trustworthy place? The first is to pay attention to details such as the quality of the website what we’re looking at, if it’s misspelled, if the photos are bad, and if the price is too good a deal. In these cases, “the alarms should go off,” warns Oliva.
At this point we will do it with an almost closed deal in online negotiationswith a sale price that includes all fees and taxes and financing, either through a loan offer or from the company’s finance department.
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