Technology is transforming the way people buy and sell cars, saving both money and time.
New initiatives in Australia and overseas allow digital transactions and communications between buyers and sellers using computers, smartphones, and even vending machines.
This month’s launch of Mogo.com.au, an online service and app that allows people to remain anonymous while getting quotes for cars and trade-ins from a wide range of dealers, is one new example.
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“The customer gets to see who has their car in stock at the best price while selling their current car for free,” said Mogo Cars director Greg Harris.
Some car companies have been trialling online dealerships and showrooms. And as positive credit reporting expands in Australia, we could see car-buying developments similar to those now happening in the US and China.
A US finance product only requires a person’s social security number and digital signature to get online approval for same-day car collection.
In China, e-commerce giant Alibaba and Ford have opened a car-themed digital vending machine that allows people with good credit scores to log into an app, pick up and test drive a car they like, then keep it if they want.
Mr Harris said these trends in large global markets might “take a little longer to spread down under”.
COMPARE CAR LOANS
You’re Welcome Finance founder David Lennon said January was a quiet month for retailers, which made it a good time to buy big ticket items such as cars.
Mr Lennon said it was a good idea to get finance sorted before contacting a dealer.
“Avoid any issues with your credit file beforehand,” he said.
“It shows the car dealership that you are serious and intent on buying a car. You will be given more attention and taken more seriously.”
More than 3.3 million cars are sold annually in Australia.
BUY A CAR WISELY
• Know the car you want.
• Talk to people you trust who have the car you want.
• Seek independent reviews about your car choice.
• Get as many quotes as possible, and don’t rule out dealers that are further away from your home.
• Don’t add aftermarket options that you don’t need