In recent years, consumers continued flocking to car dealerships, going for test drives, and walking around car lots to search for their perfect vehicle. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and showrooms were closed, sales teams were sent home, and consumers shifted their searches from in person to online. In fact, the automotive industry reported record profits in online car sales in 2020, with nearly 30% of all new car sales completed online. This shift to digital car sales has been extremely lucrative for companies like Carvana, who offer a complete car buying experience online. Many in the industry expect the online push to continue, which could change car buying forever. Studies have shown that consumers are drawn to online auto dealers for several reasons. Let’s take a closer look at how the pandemic has affected the car buying experience.
Consumers Felt Safer Shopping Online
When the novel coronavirus dealt its blow to our country, car dealerships across the country scrambled to look for ways to make the car buying process safer and easier. In the beginning of the pandemic, many physical dealerships were forced to close their showrooms, leaving few options for consumers other than online shopping. However, even as showrooms slowly began reopening their doors, many consumers still felt uneasy about the close contact involved in car buying. They hesitated to go inside showrooms and they certainly did not feel comfortable taking a test drive with a salesperson. As a result, many consumers opted for a contactless shopping experience and turned to online auto dealers such as Carvana to purchase their vehicle.
Companies Like Carvana Were Prepared for the Online Experience
Even though dealerships across the country were soon realizing that they had to offer a better online experience, they were way behind the curve compared to online experts like Carvana. While Carvana began offering a complete virtual experience years ago, most other commercial dealerships were lagging behind and still remained stubbornly low-tech. At the start of the pandemic,most dealerships did not have a very progressive online digital platform, which pushed online consumers to more experienced online dealers such as Carvana. Carvana already offered a slew of unique features including virtual test drives, capability to browse inventory, and even easy ways for consumers to apply for credit and choose payment options online. Furthermore, they even offered “touchless” pickup and delivery options.
Online Car Buying is a Simpler Process
As a result of the pandemic, more and more people are turning to online auto dealers and they are finding the process to be simpler, faster, and more convenient. People love the convenience of shopping online from the comfort of their homes and not having to deal with the stress of a pushy salesperson. They also have access to a larger selection of vehicles online and can quickly and easily find the make and model they want. Thanks to innovative technology prospective buyers can even take virtual test drives, sign paperwork, and arrange delivery of their new vehicle right from their computer or mobile device. In short, consumers can achieve the same results in less than an hour that they could from spending an entire Saturday on a car lot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.