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Car Shopping Has Changed, Virtually Overnight, In Surprising & Convenient New Ways

Jesse McGraw

Life has changed. Our daily routines look different and certainly the way we shop has rapidly evolved. In the case of car buying, new virtual buying services aimed at keeping us safe, may end up redefining the future of car buying. 

For many, the need for a new car is real and can no longer wait. For others, now is the right time to buy because of unprecedented manufacturer incentives. With most of America practicing social distancing, traditional in-person buying experiences may not be possible, raising many questions about the state of the car buying process.

The good news? You can now buy cars digitally with the same level of confidence generated during an in-person visit to a dealership. Now, more than ever, innovative and incredibly convenient new services have become widely available from dealerships across the nation to not only ensure the safety of both car buyers and auto dealers but deliver the concierge-level services we’ve been longing for.

So, What’s New?

Right now, dealerships across the United States are working hard to not only meet buyers’ needs but prioritize their safety. With a little creativity and ingenuity, a whole new car buying experience has been created, virtually overnight. From live video walkarounds to at-home test drives and even home delivery, the recent proliferation of these contactless shopping options begs to be celebrated and shared. Across Carsforsale.com, new Virtual Shopping Badges are now prominently displayed on inventory listings to help you find local dealerships going the extra mile to ensure your safety and serve you from the comfort of your home.

Carsforsale.com's new virtual badges displayed on a vehicle listing
Carsforsale.com's new virtual badges displayed on a vehicle listing

The New Advancements You Can Expect

Right now, dealerships across the United States are working hard to not only meet buyers’ needs but prioritize their safety. With a little creativity and ingenuity, a whole new car buying experience has been created, virtually overnight. From live video walkarounds to at-home test drives and even home delivery, the recent proliferation of these contactless shopping options begs to be celebrated and shared. Across Carsforsale.com, new Virtual Shopping Badges are now prominently displayed on inventory listings to help you find local dealerships going the extra mile to ensure your safety and serve you from the comfort of your home.

Virtual Appointments

Dealerships are available to meet with buyers by phone or “face-to-face” through video chat. Dealers are using popular video conferencing apps such as Facetime, Zoom or Facebook Messenger, among many others, to make the process easy. With these video chat applications, you can ask questions about the process or available inventory, discuss package options, financing programs, and much more.

A car shopper speaking to a dealer on a video call
A car shopper speaking to a dealer on a video call

Video Walkarounds

Along the same premise as virtual appointments, you can also get an in-depth, live video introduction to your next possible vehicle. Dealers can use video calls to walk you through the ins and outs of any available model. Use this conference to get an in-depth look into the engine bay, at the under carriage, and all the nooks and crannies you would normally inspect yourself while on the car lot.

A car dealer showing a customer around a vehicle through a video call
A car dealer showing a customer around a vehicle through a video call

At-Home Test Drives

Yep, you read that right, some dealerships are offering at-home test drives. Select the car you want to test drive, speak to the dealer, and they will bring the freshly sanitized vehicle straight to your garage to inspect and drive yourself. If you’re not totally in love, that’s okay, these no-commitment test drives not only help you define what you’re looking for, but they also provide great feedback that allow dealers to find the perfect fit for you.

A customer taking a test drive from home
A customer taking a test drive from home

Driveway Delivery

Tesla has been offering their Direct Drop service for at-home deliveries since their first car sale, and now dealerships nationwide are following suit. Dealers are delivering newly purchased vehicles directly to your driveway freshly cleaned, detailed and disinfected, just as they do with at-home test drives. You’ll typically receive a notification from the dealer making you aware of the delivery to your residence with the keys available. Talk about service and convenience! This is one offering we hope sticks around.

Dealerships are sure to clean and sanitize vehicles before delivering them to your residence
Dealerships are sure to clean and sanitize vehicles before delivering them to your residence

Virtual Financing 

Many dealerships have been utilizing online financing, but now it’s even more helpful. Complete a 5-minute online application, which can easily be found on Carsforsale.com or the dealer’s website, to get quotes on rates, term lengths, monthly estimates, and even loan approvals from the comfort of your couch. Plus, if you act fast, you may qualify for incredible financing incentives and rock-bottom auto loan rates that may only be available for a short time. (0% financing for 84 months, what?!).

Get approved financing online in minutes
Get approved financing online in minutes

Online Paperwork

Select dealerships across America can even complete sales paperwork online. It’s as simple as receiving a link to the paperwork package from the dealer, completing the documentation, and sending it back to the dealer for processing. Some states allow electronic signatures that are as easy as one “click” to submit, while other states look for a wet signature. In these states, dealerships are mailing copies of the completed paperwork to sign and send back. Either way, virtual buying is a safe and seamless process.

Some dealerships offer electronic options to complete paperwork
Some dealerships offer electronic options to complete paperwork

A New Normal You Can Appreciate

The world of car buying certainly has changed, conceivably for the better. From online research to in-depth video calls, new at-home experiences to digital financing and safe driveway delivery, the level of personal convenience and support being offered are blazing new trails. With all these new virtual services available, online car shopping seems to have hit its mainstream stride. We may never want to go back. So if you’re in the market for a new car, make sure to utilize all these online offerings easily found on Carsforsale.com to shop safe and keep life moving.

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Jesse McGraw
Jesse McGraw

Jesse's life-long car obsession began when he started collecting Hot Wheels as a child. He’s constantly keeping up with the latest car news and diving deep into automotive history. His automotive journey began with a rusty ‘99 Dodge Dakota held together by zip ties, only recently replaced by an impeccable 2014 Kia Soul. You can find him modifying and racing cars in video games when he’s not playing paintball or writing about cars.

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