The way we buy cars is changing, but some things are here to stay
Progress in the motor industry over the last decade is simply unmatched
In the last fifty years the rate of innovation in the motor industry has been absolutely staggering.
Comfort, performance, handling, technology and fuel economy have all improved at a rate that you just don’t find in other industries.
But, all things considered, the way we buy cars hasn't really changed that much at all. Financing is a relatively new thing but the haggling process, the cat and mouse game and the trips to numerous dealers have been mainstays of car-buying for decades.
It does feel a bit like this decade, though, is set to be the one where consumers begin the shift to new ways of buying cars. New services are offering buyers the ease-of-use and pleasurable buying experience that you’re used to from walking in to an Apple store or ordering a taxi through your phone.
New ideas and online innovation
Tesla, the electric car company, doesn't really have what you could call a showroom and Hyundai is toying with a Rockar retail store in Bluewater filled with ‘Angels’ rather than salesman and then you have the online-only retail sites like Drive The Deal, Buy a Car and carwow.
Leading the pack is the latter, carwow, which has quickly become the UK’s largest new car-buying platform. It removes the haggling and legwork from the equation by allowing buyers to specify the car they want and having dealers throughout the country offer their best price.
What remains at the end of all of these transactions, though, is the opportunity to head down to the dealership, sign for your car and drive it away. You can also have it delivered but the vast majority will choose to do it the old-fashioned way.
And that’s part of the reason the traditional car dealer won’t ever disappear. They may have to evolve to accommodate new ways of buying but as the second biggest purchase of your life, people still want the experience of picking up a new car. It’s become a tradition, and as we all know, traditions don’t disappear over night.