Even before the pandemic prompted people to buy a wide variety of products online, the car-buying experience was undergoing an evolution. Studies have found the number of dealerships buyers went to before making a purchase has dropped for several consecutive years, while the percentage of buyers who personally visited just one dealership before making their purchase has risen.
At the heart of this trend is the growing acceptance of online shopping. Twenty years ago, few consumers would have imagined buying clothing or shoes without trying on the articles first. Similarly, even 10 years ago most folks wouldn’t have dreamed of committing to an automobile without test driving multiple models. Fast forward to 2021, and instead of visiting five dealerships just to obtain information about available vehicles, and then taking 10 different test drives, people are willing to complete the process 100 percent online.
Even for those who insist on sitting in the driver’s seat before saying “yes,” at the very least the research process now starts online. Potential car buyers are completing the majority of the legwork via the internet – tapping online tools ranging from auto manufacturers’ websites that allow one to obtain information, compare models, and try out what adding various optional features does to the sticker price, to the growing number of websites that let people compare the pros and cons of different makes and models.
North Jersey Federal Credit Union has a partnership with Auto Link, which allows people to start the auto-buying process from their couch. Auto Link modernizes the shopping experience in many ways, starting with a blizzard of information from the expected trade-in price for one’s current wheels, price and market reports, pictures, videos and reviews for available inventory, referrals to local dealers, and more.
Once you have narrowed down your search, Auto Link even hooks you up with a virtual test drive! When you make your choice, you can buy with confidence because Auto Link users typically get an average savings of more than $3,000 off MSRP when buying a new vehicle from a Certified Dealer. And if you finance your vehicle purchase with NJFCU you receive a VIP myEZ Car Care® membership, which gives discounts on service for your vehicle and travel. You also get access to the Electronic Glovebox® desktop and mobile app. Credit union members can get free CARFAX reports on some vehicles.
So if you are ready to trade in your old clunker for something new, prepare for an entirely new experience.