You can book a test drive on most manufacturers’ websites by filling out a contact form, but often you have to do that separately from the online transaction. Some manufacturers offer a more convenient service of booking a test drive with your local dealer on their online sales portal, like Hyundai’s ‘Click to Buy’, or having the car delivered to your house for the test drive, like with Mazda’s ‘MyWay’ service.
If you enjoy haggling then online car sales probably isn’t for you. The main appeal of online car sales is that it simplifies the process, whereas haggling tends to complicate it.
What are my rights on rejecting the car?
After purchase, you’ll have a 14-day ‘cooling off’ period to make up your mind. This is designed to help you get comfortable with your new car, and if you want to return it, you can.
But it’s essential for you to check the small print on the contract, as there may be a maximum number of miles you can cover during the 14-day period. It’s also important to remember that any damage to car is unlikely to be covered.
The clauses are designed to protect you and the manufacturer – not least because if you reject the car, it will become a used one.
Is this the future of new car buying?
Buying cars online isn’t new, but up to now, most people still buy cars in the traditional way at dealerships. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has catalysed the trend of people transacting online for their next car.
“We have seen a real spike in interest, understandably, since the start of the lockdown phase,” says Hyundai Motor UK managing director, Ashley Andrew. “Our expectation is that this will continue as customers preferences towards retail interaction evolve during this period.”
Online car buying won’t kill of the dealership though, Andrew believes: “I don’t think there is any digital innovation, whether it be virtual reality or online showrooms, that can replicate the excitement of seeing a new car in the metal, sitting in it and the visceral experience of the test drive.”