A new website that compares used car prices locally and rates dealers is being launched in the UK.
CarGurus, set up by one of the founders of TripAdvisor, is already operating in the US. It allows car buyers to check out models for sale locally and compare them on price, mileage and how other users have rated the dealerships selling them.
While price and good customer service are important components for dealers to get right to attract and retain customers, the test drive is still a vital part of buyers’ decision-making processes that just can’t be compared properly online. In addition to your motor trade insurance, make sure you have the right level of road risks insurance to allow clients to test potential buys thoroughly.
CarGuru founder Langley Steinert told the Daily Telegraph that the UK is ready for a comparison website of this type.
He said: “We have seen in the United States that when the car shopping process is transparent, everybody benefits. We believe that the UK marketplace is seeking this kind of transparency.”
Statistics in the US show that just over seven in 10 car buyers look for reviews on dealerships before they contact them to discuss a possible purchase.
However, the motor industry is concerned that the system is too simplistic to give a true account of whether a vehicle is good value or not.
Philip Nothard from CAP Automotive said: “The motor industry has never been more complex. Values rise and fall due to a host of factors that can include seasonal supply and demand, changing consumer appetites, even fuel prices.”
One dealer told the paper that the CarGuru online algorithms did not recognise many of the factory fitted extras that vehicles contained from new.
He said: “These wouldn’t be taken into account when the arrow is being pointed at it being overpriced.”