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Would you buy your next new car online?

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Would you buy your next new car online?

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We buy everything online, clothes, computers, food, books, music and movies and most things we use every day. But would you buy a new car online? Would you order your car, specify the trim and options and then wait for it to be delivered? All without seeing or testing it first?

The reason I ask is that a dealership in Montreal recently announced a trial where you can build and buy a new car purely on the internet. We saw last year a website that allowed you to buy used cars purely on the internet but this is the first time I know of that you could buy a brand new car.

I buy most things online now. It is easier, often cheaper and much less hassle than going to the mall. Yet I also enjoy the shopping experience when I have the time and energy to immerse myself in it. While clicking and waiting for the delivery is convenient, there is nothing quite like trying something on or reading a couple pages of a book while in the store. Or chatting to someone in the store about a product.

Seeing is believing
One of the best things about buying a new car is going to the dealership, looking at your options, taking a test drive and selecting the trim and features. Sure, some dealerships offer a poor customer experience, but here at Car Nation Canada we do everything we can to ease the process. We don’t play games, don’t do the hard sell and certainly don’t leave you hanging for ages while we ‘see if our manager will authorize that kind of discount’.

I am content to order a book or movie online as I know what I’m getting. If I order clothes online and they don’t fit or the colour doesn’t work, I can send it back. Will I be able to do the same thing with a car? Especially a car that has been built to my specifications?

How then would you deal with buyer’s remorse? Will there be a cooling off period after your car has been delivered? How would returns work? A lot of questions remain unanswered right now but they will need answering before this kind of transaction takes off. I’m sure Millennials will love the idea of ordering their next new car online but what about the rest of us?

Unless you are ordering exactly the same make, model and year of car you already have, I believe a test drive is essential. Driving characteristics, look and feel are such a subjective element that you just have to experience for yourself.

When describing cars here on our blog, I tend to leave the hyperbole out and concentrate on facts. What may seem sublime, svelte, sumptuous or smooth to me may not be anything of the sort to someone else. Subjectivity is a huge element of buying a car and with such a big ticket item, you need to get it right.

I embrace change and see online car buying as an inevitability. However, I’m not sure that we are ready for it yet. What do you think? Would you buy a new car sight unseen? Would you specify a new car without seeing it or driving it first?

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