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How the Car Buying Experience Has Changed

November 4, 2021, ATC API, Automotive Industry, Out of State, Titling

What hasn’t the internet changed? It has had profound effects on how we shop, go to work, and even though some people thought it would never happen, how we buy our cars and trucks.

eCommerce is a quarter century old, and started with us buying simple things, like books, music, booking travel, and maybe, if someone were really brave, buying pants or a shirt online. Now, more than two decades into the digital economy, and because of the pandemic, we buy everything online.

But online auto sales lagged, still requiring a visit to the dealership to complete the transaction. Perhaps people thought that since the transactions were so complex, they couldn’t be done online. Many people still believe that. But the truth is, online vehicle sales are exploding for several reasons.

First, technology from several innovative companies allows buyers to take care of most parts of the car buying experience online. Second, the pandemic has caused many to do all their business online, away from other people, including car buying. Third, we are in what experts are calling “The Great Resignation” and record numbers of people are leaving their jobs; many moving out of state or “back home” and are looking for new vehicles in their new state, or old state, with the intention of taking them along.

Add to this a challenging economy which has led many dealerships to cut their back-office staff, and it is a perfect storm of conditions for the explosion of online car sales, and chances are, the auto industry is never going back to the way things were.

Let’s go back to eCommerce for a second. It is probably the biggest reason for the spike in online vehicle sales because buying shoes, groceries, insurance, plane tickets, and furniture online has trained consumers that the product comes to you, you don’t go to the product. Online buyers do their vehicle research online and narrow their choices by visiting a dealership for a test drive. When they get close to buying, they want to see available discounts and rebates online, get an accurate price quote, receive an offer on their trade-in (if any), get financed and insured, sign the documents, and then have the vehicle delivered to them.

Many dealerships struggle with helping online buyers through these steps, which poses a problem for “traditional dealers” because they are vulnerable to new players in the market that can provide these things online.

Seamless and easy experiences are what online vehicle buyers want and technology has made this possible. Having a technology platform that includes credit applications, financing, insurance, and tax, title, and license to speed the purchase process is crucial.

ATC is part of this new digital automotive economy and provides dealers, lenders, and auto technologies accurate tax, title, and license data for online sales, and in-state and out-of-state vehicle titling and registration.

We work with every DMV, in every jurisdiction in the country, to make it easier for you to sell cars. To learn more, reach out to Blaine@autotitling.com.

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