Actually, dealer retail premises ARE best when buying a car.

I see in today’s FT Andy Sharman writes that the industry has been slow to accept new e-based retailing formats and with the arrival of the new Carwow operation all that is set to change.

I like what Andy writes as a generality but he should in this case give more thought to the several e-commerce failures that were set to change the world and bombed. Notably Virgin Cars and which he mentions but without any comment on why they failed.

Equally I am astonished that he cites BMW’s 37 model line-up as something of a disadvantage and a problem for the customer.

By coincidence I have in the last few days completed a new car purchase from Glyn Hopkin Ltd which was effortless, entirely satisfactory and completely enjoyable and there were a number of facets to the deal that made the role of the retailer indispensible:

1. It was a big purchase and I wanted to see who I was dealing with.

2. I wanted to get a real good feel for the car I had selected via my internet research and this needed several visits to the retailer.

3. I like buying local where possible to ensure good back-up service.

4. My previous car was being taken in part exchange and I wanted all the paperwork with the DVLA to be seamless and hassle free – quite apart from getting a reasonable price for it.

5. There was the significant matter of the right finance plan for the deal and knowing I was working with a company that has all the compliance subjects under control which collectively offer me a high level of security.

6. Say what you like, whoever you are and whatever your financial status, for most of us buying a new car is a significant financial decision.

Andy Sharman may think all six of the above can be dealt with by tick boxes during an online impersonal transaction. I beg to differ and for me the dealership network has a significant role to play for some considerable time yet.

Christopher Macgowan


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1 Response to Actually, dealer retail premises ARE best when buying a car.

  1. James Hind says:

    Hi Christopher,

    My name is James Hind, I’m the founder/CEO of carwow.

    carwow isn’t looking to replace the dealership at all, we want to work with the best dealerships out there to offer an easier buying process, which we believe will benefit the consumer, dealer and manufacturer.

    We work by promoting the dealers who offer the best experience, and there is no online car selling with carwow, we simply show the dealer’s we know are converting consumers to sales, and allow the user to contact or visit them to test drive, get a PX valuation or do the deal directly.

    Location of dealer is important, we know that people would much rather deal relatively locally than travel hundreds of miles just to save a bit of money. carwow allows users to see this comparison and to make their own choice in where they want to buy from and what they want to sacrifice.

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