Online car dealerships are popping up all over the country. From CarMax to TrueCar to Carvana, the options are rising. It’s no wonder that more and more dealerships have increased their online presence and are moving to online sales. But with such a big shift away from traditional car buying, how does a consumer cut out the clutter and understand the new era of shopping? Online car shopping isn’t quite the same as shopping for anything else online. To best understand the online portion, you need to understand how the process works.

The automotive industry is a unique one. In today’s day and age, it’s growing and shifting quickly. Online car shopping is becoming more than just a trend. It’s a whole new (ish) segment of the industry itself. With the internet at our fingertips 24/7, any buyer can see any car from anywhere in the world. The push for car dealerships to have online incentives is major.

The benefits of online car buying can be numerous. Clearly, there is a convenience of inventory knowledge for the shopping. Online prices are becoming more in demand, which forces more transparency between the dealership and the buyer. It’s always good to look online prior to purchasing, just so you can have an idea of what you can expect from the inventory selection.

A few other benefits include:

  • Immediate price comparisons
  • Online financial calculators for specific vehicles at specific rates
  • Virtual tour of almost any car
  • Up front benefit analysis and options
  • Dealer reviews

One way to think of online car shopping is to think of it just as you would a normal car buying experience. The plus side is the potential for much more information up front. Once you’ve found a car of interest, we do highly recommend a stop into the dealership for a test drive. Driving the car first hand prior to purchase can make all the difference. When it comes to buying a car, nothing beats the first hand test drive to see if it’s the right one for you.

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