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Blog: Choice, convenience and COVID-19 are driving the shift to online car shopping

The COVID-19 pandemic is further accelerating the seemingly unstoppable growth of e-commerce across industries around the world. Consumers are making ever-more of their purchases online – from clothes to personal care products and from food to furniture. In fact, this trend is even changing the face of the automotive industry. People have been using the internet as an indispensable tool in the search for their next car for years, of course, but now there is a noticeable shift towards consumers actually purchasing vehicles online too.

Based on the findings from its recent Millennial Car Survey among 3,000 millennials (aged 24-35) across six European countries, CarNext.com has identified five reasons why buying a car online makes perfect sense in today’s ‘new normal’.

Top 5 reasons for buying a car online

  1. Wide choice: As a brand-neutral marketplace, CarNext.com offers makes and models from all automotive manufacturers. This was confirmed as a strong advantage in the survey, with 41% of the respondents valuing access to a larger offering online. 
  2. ‘Always on’ economy: You can visit an online showroom at any time of the day or night, including to ask questions or place your order. 41% of people in the survey valued the greater sense of ‘owning’ the experience, such as not being restricted by opening times, and 45% liked the fact that buying a car online enables them to spend more time researching the market.
  3. Convenience: It can be a hassle having to drive to the car showroom (especially if you don’t have access to transport, which is why you’re looking for a car in the first place!). Buying online enables you to save a lot of time by completing the whole ordering and payment process from the comfort of your own home. In fact, CarNext.com offers an appointment-based home delivery service and ‘click & collect’ options too, in which case the car is delivered to your door or one of the company’s 45 Delivery Stores and pick-up points across 23 countries, all of which are located in and around major transport hubs.
  4. Peace of mind: The second-hand car trade suffers with a bit of an image problem. Not all dealers are the same, of course, but 30% of the survey respondents indicated that they like not feeling pressured during the online experience. CarNext.com works with fixed, all-in pricing so there’s no haggling over the deal. Meanwhile, 44% view a car as a major purchase and understandably want to be sure they’ve made the right decision, which is why CarNext.com offers you the option to return the vehicle within 14 days if you change your mind.
  5. Safe and secure: Personal interaction has fallen out of favour during the COVID-19 pandemic, even among millennials, with 33% citing safety and hygiene as a reason for buying a car online rather than from a showroom. Nevertheless, the personal touch remains important, as underlined by 40% who expressed a preference to speak to a salesperson face to face. To address this, CarNext.com offers virtual appointments, during which you can view all aspects of a car, ask questions and get advice from a trained car specialist in real time. The survey also revealed that 31% are concerned about whether it is safe to paying for such a big purchase online. Needless to say, as Europe’s leading online marketplace for high-quality used cars, CarNext.com guarantees that the security of all its online transaction services is completely watertight.

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