If you’ve ever bought a car from a traditional car dealer, you have more than likely thought, “There must be a better way.” You may have been let down by the selection. You may have felt defeated by the amount of time you’ve spent on researching your purchase. You may have been ensnared upon entry into the dealership by a pushy salesperson who wouldn’t let you breathe let alone sleep on your decision to buy. The stereotype of the used car salesman is around for a reason, so it’s no wonder that many car buyers decide to pursue an anti-dealer experience.
An international Accenture survey of 10,000 potential car buyers found that to be the case, showing the increasing popularity of skipping the dealership altogether and moving online to buy vehicles. Already 16 percent of those surveyed have purchased a new vehicle online; and 53 percent reported they would consider doing so. Similarly, AutoTrader’s Car Buyer of the Future study found that the experience is key to customers. In fact, more than half of respondents said they value experience over price point.
So what are the key elements of the car-buying experience that currently drive consumers away from the traditional dealer? MATS.org has found these ten pieces of the process to be the most worrisome for buyers.
- Buying a car is confusing. You probably don’t go through the car-buying process often, so each time you do, it’s like the first time. Not knowing what to expect means confusion for you as the buyer.
- Buying a used car is risky. You never know what you’re going to get when you buy something without knowing its entire history. What about the car made its previous owner want to get rid of it? When you buy from an online source, you buy the car sight unseen. That is one of the largest risks you can take.
- Buying a car means having to trust people you don’t know. The risk is so great when making such a large purchase because it means trusting people you don’t know. Most car dealers live and die by their quotas, so you have to trust that the hassle you’d put up if they sold you a lemon outweighs the reward they get by selling you anything.
- Buying a car is full of pressure. Commission being the name of the game drives sales people to put incredible stress on customers to make their buying decisions immediately. The less time a salesperson spends to sell a car, the higher the return on his or her efforts. All that leads to customers feeling pressured to buy when intending to browse at a traditional dealership.
- Buying the right car means having to learn all about cars. Rather than get swindled by unscrupulous sales people, customers may feel like they need to know all the ins and outs of the auto industry before they even set foot in a dealership. Many customers may not have the time and effort to put into the task of research just to feel comfortable going to a traditional dealership.
- Buying the right car can take a lot of time. In the traditional dealership experience, car buyers spend not only the time it takes to figure out the features they need and want from a car, but also the time it takes them for the research they do on the industry and the conversations they have with a salesperson. All together, that comes to a huge amount of time taken up by this one purchase.
- Buying a car comes with a lot of funny business. Since car buyers are much less experienced than sales people in the business of purchasing vehicles, the sellers have the advantage. They can spring fees on customers at the last minute, add in various amendments to the paperwork that completely change the deal customers think they have agreed to, and multiple other instances that lead to a poor deal for buyers.
- Buying a car comes with many opportunities to be “had.” Many customers dislike dealing with traditional dealers because of the lack of trust in the relationship. How many steps are there in the buying process? Customers see each and every step as yet another opportunity for the salesperson to pull one over on them.
- Buying the car you want hinges on dealer supply. When you work with a traditional car dealership, they can’t sell you what they don’t have. If time is of the essence and the car you want isn’t on the lot, you’ll find yourself settling for something less than the right car for you.
- Buying a car calls for negotiation. A large portion of the population goes through their day to day lives without negotiating much at all. Traditional dealers do it every day. Guess which party goes into that deal with the advantage?
If you can’t stand these aspects of car buying, you might want to skip the traditional car-buying experience and instead pursue an anti-dealer experience. The first option you might consider would be going online to complete all aspects of the purchase. Avoiding the traditional experience doesn’t mean you have to take care of everything yourself, though.
MATS.org gives you the best of both worlds, offering the guidance and knowledge a good dealership provides while cutting out the pressure. MATS.org does the work, and you get a worry-free way to get the right car in your driveway. If you’re in the market for a vehicle and a car-buying experience without hassle appeals to you, fill out our Vehicle Request form, and one of our talented car buying specialists will be in touch to help you buy the right car.
Let us know on our Facebook page which of these top ten — or another element of the car-buying experience — you dislike the most.