You might have heard that Hyundai has released an Amazon style “Click to Buy” service over in the UK. Simply put, you go online, buy a car, and have it delivered to your door. There are no dealerships involved, and you don’t even see the car. That’s the basic understanding of it, and we’ll go more in depth in a second. The first and most pressing question that many of you probably have, is whether this service will eventually come to the good ol’ U.S. of A. The answer? Yes…and no. The situation is a bit more complicated than you might think.
I’ll go into more detail about the service, give you my two cents on it, and explain why the answer to your question is both a yes and a no.
Let’s get started…
Hyundai’s Click To Buy Service
The whole idea behind Hyundai’s Click to Buy service is that prospective car buyers will experience a seamless and easy car buying process. One that doesn’t involve going to the showroom floor at a dealership to buy a car, which is intimidating for some people, and often frustrating for most.
For now, the service allows you to buy an i10, i20, i20 coupe, i30 Tucson, or Santa Fe. You’ll arrange for its delivery, get a trade in price for your current car (if you have one to trade in), and have the new vehicle you bought delivered to you door, if you pay in cash. Financing can be arranged, but you’ll have to finish the paperwork at the actual dealership.
With the program, you’ll be able to get and compare quotes, configure your vehicle, apply for financing, and pay your deposit — all online. The website provides step-by-step instructions on how to go about purchasing your new vehicle as well. It’s supposed to be just as simple as ordering from Amazon with its one-click feature.
My Two Cents
Personally, I’d never buy a car that I can’t at least inspect first. It’s still unclear if these cars will be distributed directly from the manufacturer, or if they will be sold off dealership lots. If they are distributed from local dealerships before the deal is finalized, that would defeat the purpose of buying the car online. But, it would be reassuring for guys like me who absolutely have to inspect a vehicle before buying it.
However, if you feel comfortable with this idea, then more power to you.
Will It Ever Make it to America?
Will it ever make it to America? Like I said above, yes and no. Yes, because eventually I’m personally convinced that the future will be home to internet transactions of every kind. But no, because that future isn’t here today. The UK might be ready (or not, we’ll have to wait and see) for something like this, but American certainly isn’t.
Other companies like Beepi (which has recently abandoned its online only dream) are struggling to even compete with dealerships. Not to mention, buying from a private seller on Craigslist is still one of the most popular ways to get a used car.
So, it could eventually work its way over if it ever gains traction…time will tell.