Online car shopping has become increasingly popular, and Which? Car says that it’s a win-win situation for consumers. Not only can buyers secure bigger discounts, they also have the advantage of additional legal protection when buying online.
Which? searched for fourteen popular new car models, and found twelve that were cheaper to buy online. Many of these were significantly cheaper, with five of the models offered at over £5,000 below the list price. Six of them were at least £1,000 less to buy online than they were from a showroom.
Completing a care sale online makes the deal subject to Distance Selling Regulations, which give customers a cooling off period of seven days after the delivery of the vehicle, during which time they can choose to reject the car and can be eligible for a total refund. Doing so may result in court action if the seller chooses to dispute such a claim, but the laws are weighted heavily in the buyer’s favour.
Although only about five percent of Which? members surveyed bought their last vehicle online, eighteen percent indicated that they would probably buy online in the future. Even though some consumers may be ready to buy their next car online, research shows that many of them have still been arming themselves with the useful information that can be found online. The consumer champion discovered that sixty-nine percent of its readers research automobile purchases on the Internet, using it as a source of price comparison. If they can find a considerable discount off the list price through an online broker, they can show the deal to a local car dealership to see if they are willing to match the price.
According to Which? Car editor Richard Headland, the Internet has revolutionized the way consumers shop for cars. He supports this revolution because of the way that it empowers the consumer. Buyers can find much better prices online without having to haggle with pushy, overbearing salespeople, and their legal rights are better too. The Internet has posed a formidable challenge to the traditional type of automobile dealership.
Consumers are urged to check out online dealers just as they would traditional dealers to ensure that they are dealing with a reputable company; as with any purchase, if the deal looks too good to be true, then it most likely is.