With ongoing lockdowns in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, we are now forced to do some things differently from how we used to. This includes buying a car.
Since dealerships are now temporarily closed and people are stuck at home, those who have to buy a car during the pandemic have to do it online. Aside from its convenience, car shopping online can also help safeguard your health by minimizing your physical interactions with other people.
The process of buying vehicles online has been around for quite some time, but it’s not the most popular option for car buyers. Most of the time, it will only become extra prominent when a car maker or a new player launches its platform like Hyundai’s Click to Buy in 2017. One of its first clients, John Freel, is nothing but praise about the program. He said that it gives potential buyers the convenience of not having to visit a physical dealership and the lack of pressure from a sales staff.
However, just like when you buy from a physical dealership, you should also shop around online to compare prices and possible additional charges.
WHAT ABOUT THE TEST DRIVE?
Car shopping online may be a more convenient option than going through several physical dealerships, but how can you test drive the car you’re interested in? This may prove as a challenge, but there are ways around it.
For new cars, buyers usually want to test drive to see if they like the vehicle. Some online sellers can connect you with their supplying dealers near you. You can also contact a local dealer to check out the model you like, but this is a cheekier alternative. Either way, you still have to get out of the house.
However, the case is a unique matter for used cars. You may not be able to inspect or drive the car you’re looking to buy. So, you must choose a seller who gives detailed and accurate descriptions of the car they’re selling.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS
It may surprise you to know that you can have more rights when buying online than with face-to-face transactions. In the United Kingdom, these are stated in the Consumer Contract Regulations of 2013.
According to the regulations, the seller should give a detailed description of the car along with the breakdown of costs. The buyer is also entitled to a cancellation period, which starts from when the order was placed up until 14 days after the car was received. You can return the vehicle or have it collected for another 14 days.
You can also ask for a full refund, but it’s subject to the seller’s fair-use restriction. It must not have been used for more than 100 miles. If you return it with damages, you’ll have to pay for the charges. Also, check who you’re going to enter a sales contract with. There are times that the online seller is just the middleman for the actual seller/dealer.
SHOULD YOU BUY YOUR CAR ONLINE?
Nowadays, competition among online sellers has tightened up. And so, their standards have also gone up. Buying cars online may still be appealing post-pandemic.