Will the car-buying process shift to the Internet in the next 10 years?
That’s the view of some analysts who report an increase in online car buying, according to CNNMoney.com
Already some large dealerships are experimenting with upfront Internet pricing that serves as the initial point of contact for buyers.
A majority of consumers already use the Internet to window shop and gather information. But now more are completing the transaction online.
The beauty for consumers is the car-buying process is shifting in favor of the buyer as dealerships, already faced with slim margins, look for a faster sales turnaround. The practiced online shopper can pit dealers against one another using the Internet and telephone, along with services like AutoSMART
The appeal of online shopping is simple for consumers: There’s less hassle. It’s fast and convenient. And online car buying has become more streamlined and competitive.
Follow this advice to make your
car-shopping experience easier:
♦ First, line up your financing so you can be a cash-paying customer. Call or stop by Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union to get pre-approved for your car loan. Or, log into Virtual Branch and apply online!
♦ Know exactly what you want to buy -- the make, model, options, even the color.
♦ Don’t go to the dealership -- call, send an e-mail, or use a car-buying website, where you should get bids from competing dealerships. Ask them to send you a copy of the window sticker as well as the invoice price, which is what you are really after. You’ll be surprised how many will do so when they know they are bidding against another provider.
♦ Resist the temptation to go to the dealership before getting a firm quote. Remind dealers that other providers are meeting your request for a firm bid.
♦ If buying from an individual or through an unknown provider online, beware of potential fraud.
*AutoSMART from Credit Union Direct Corporation (CUDL) is provided as a free service by Coosa Pines FCU.
Visit CPFCU's Anytime Adviser for the New Car Buying Coach and Used Car Buying Coach.