No, we’re not talking about late night eBay purchases...

With interest in online car shopping growing and both dealers and car makers keen to provide services for digital-savvy buyers, new research has uncovered that a small but important minority are happy to buy a car sight unseen.

Data from the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has revealed that 10 percent of car buyers are more prepared to buy online without seeing the vehicle, if they’re purchasing from a franchised dealer. There have also been significant recent developments in the car sales market, with a growing number of car makers offering consumers Amazon-style ‘click & deliver’ alternatives to the traditional buying methods.

Keen to capitalise on the growing trend for online-based sales, Exchange and Mart is preparing to unveil a new ‘click and collect’ proposition of its own, which it boasts is set to change the used car marketplace for both dealers and their customers.

With the backing of its publisher owners, Newsquest, Exchange and Mart has been developing the new online end-to-end process for the last 18 months. The new offering is said to help buyers save up to 80 percent of the time it currently takes to purchase a used car and do all the paperwork, making it faster and easier to make the final purchase.

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Explaining the concept, Thom Coupar-Evans of Exchange and Mart said: “We’re promising the first selection of dealers who place their used car and pre-reg stock with us a chance to opt-in to our new offering, allowing them to upload to the new site free. This will put their cars in front of a substantial audience generated from around 30 million unique visitors each month.

“In addition, links with Automotive Media and their partners will then seamlessly manage the remote sales process and actually 'sell' the car to our customers, returning the supplying dealer their full screen price.”

This approach could potentially be viewed not only as disruptive but also one that could be in direct conflict with car dealers themselves. However, commercial director for Sal Ciullo reassured dealers, saying that the new sales model should prove attractive to buyers unhappy with the traditional way of purchasing a used car, and those already comfortable shopping online.

Source: Exchange and Mart

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