Is buying a car online in India worth it? Buyers share their experience

An overwhelming majority of conversations, visits, test drives, and transactions still happen with physical car showrooms.

GTO recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Link to related thread on used car websites.

Car buying has not evolved online as predicted a decade ago. An overwhelming majority of conversations, visits, test drives and transactions still happen with physical car showrooms (I’d bet around 99% of them). Still, there are plenty of websites that help you buy a new car (Carwale and Cardekho are the biggest), while the manufacturers themselves are trying to move some transactions to their own websites (check out how this BHPian bought a Hyundai Creta online).

  • Have you managed to buy a car online? How was the experience?
  • Have you just tried, but failed? How was the experience?
  • What websites have you used? An aggregator like Carwale / Cardekho / AckoDrive, or directly from the OEM site?
  • Advantages and disadvantages ?
  • Did you benefit from a price advantage?
  • Was it practical?
  • How could they improve?

Thanks!

Here is what BHPian Mustang_Boss should say about it:

I booked an I20 and venue through Acko. I would only take one.

Advantages:

  • Traditional haggling with the dealer for offers is not necessary.
  • As the insurance provider will be Acko, I implicitly benefited from the price on the road, without any haggling.
  • I don’t like to negotiate with the dealer, so I went that route.
  • I have noticed a serious change in the attitude of sellers in traditional showrooms. Nexa and Kia were an exception. Hyundai was in the same boat of bad experience. I felt like there was no point in talking. Forget haggling.

Advantages and disadvantages :

  • A few minutes to book. Best price.
  • Transparency is zero. Dealer says they’ll get back to you once they have stock. you must trust his words.
  • Traditionally, the dealer decides the price based on your appearance [How you flaunt your jewellery & your current ride] and your financial strength. All that nonsense is gone.

Pricing advantage:

  • I got the final quote at Ex-showroom + Life Tax + Insurance, if I bought it from outside + ~5000. They will probably fit the accessories.
  • Nothing more.

How could they improve?

  • I have been waiting since August last week. So far, nothing has been awarded. Regular updates stopped a week ago. I was told there was a huge waiting list for diesel vehicles so nothing was allocated. But few others get the vehicle much earlier. I’m not sure what is running in the back-end.
  • You can walk into a dealership, talk, and get a similar deal and vehicle much faster. In my case, I have a few things running in the back end, and I wasn’t very eager to buy right away. So I chose this path. If they can deliver, I’ll take it. If they delay it, I’m fine.

Here is what BHPian bidyout.b should say about it:

I had a very good experience with online booking. When Ford introduced the EcoSoport facelift in 2017, they were taking reservations through Amazon. I reserved my choice of variant and selected the preferred dealer through Amazon. I received a call from the dealership when it was ready to ship from the factory asking me to settle the balance amount. They explained all the fees – insurance, registration, smart card, accessories etc. They negotiated the amount of insurance a bit and said no to a few accessories and yes to a few.

Once the car reached the dealership, did PDI, paid the balance amount and had the car delivered.

What I learned was that the Amazon orders were fulfilled separately and not added to the reseller orders so the choice of variant/color was shipped accordingly and tagged on the Amazon order so there was no way my order will be delivered to someone else unless I cancel the order.

Here is what BHPian anuragsingh should say about it:

I was looking to buy a car this year and after all the research I decided to buy Renault Kiger. I went to the Renault website and booked a call for an investigation. The very next day, I received a call from Renault customer service. They took my details and shared them with the nearest dealer who brought the test vehicle to my house the same day.

After a week, I asked for another test drive at my house, this time for the family, and the dealership gladly agreed. I had then made my decision and asked the guy from Renault to take my reservation. The payment for the reservation was made online and I obtained the necessary documents. All of this was done at my house. I had a car loan pre-approved by HDFC and Renault also has a partnership with the bank. So they sent the guy from the bank to my house to do the documentation.

After that, within a week, I received delivery of my car. So basically I only went to the dealership once on the day of delivery. Everything else was done online or at home. The whole car buying experience was very hands on.

But I guess it was possible because I got the car from Renault, not Tata or Mahindra. Renault does not have a huge order book. They are therefore able to meet the demands of individual customers like us.

Here is what Mango BHPian should say about it:

After the 2020 lockdown we desperately needed a car and wanted an automatic. We asked for a Tata Tiago but that deal didn’t go through so we opted for a Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS. We called the dealership and they directed us to the new online reservation portal created by Hyundai.

Have you managed to buy a car online? How was the experience?

Yes, after a few tests and back and forth with SA, we were able to reserve the car online. The first day we tried the payment getaway didn’t work, but the second day we tried it worked and the AS was on call the whole time to help us through the process.

Have you just tried, but failed? How was the experience?

The experience was good, just like placing an order on any other e-commerce site, but it took a few tries.

What sites did you use? An aggregator like Carwale / Cardekho / AckoDrive, or directly from the OEM site?

OEM website

Advantages and disadvantages ?

Advantages: I didn’t have to go to the dealership in the middle of a pandemic and risk getting sick/infecting others (since my dad works in the healthcare industry, it was more for us not to not make others sick than the reverse.)

The inconvenients: The time things failed, even with the Scorpio N, Mahindra could not create a proper portal to meet the high demand and it was a nightmare and a lot of bitter emotions towards the brand.

Can’t get the same feeling of getting ready and looking forward to going to a dealership and doing the whole process. It was very ordinary, we forgot the car was coming and they just drove home and we went downstairs in pajamas and shorts.

Did you benefit from a price advantage?

Yes. We got a discount of Rs 20,000 and this was done through the website only where you could choose a benefit package (the same were also offered directly by the dealer).

Was it practical?

Yes, it was quite convenient, we didn’t go to the dealership once, Hyundai delivered the car to the house and all the paperwork was done online. This included obtaining a loan and verifying all documents. Now this is something a car enthusiast will hate in terms of doing the PDI and picking up the car which overall is a better feeling but we weren’t bothered by any of that and the car we bought didn’t arouse any emotion anyway. For once, we bought a car to make it easier to get around and get around town.

How could they improve?

The number of times it fails, as Hyundai was in its very early stages in 2020 to introduce the online portal, we weren’t mad as SA called and made sure we still had a pleasant experience. He kindly asked us to try again and if that fails he will make the reservation on his side. The Mahindra Scorpio N booking experience has been a nightmare and even in 2022 if they fail to create a proper website or set up a proper system just for booking the car then there is no point . We had a bitter experience that made us question the ethics of the company as well.

Check out BHPian’s comments for more ideas and information.

Comments are closed.