How Technology Can Help You When Buying a Car

cars for saleFor the last four years in a row, new car sales in the US have topped a whopping 17 million. The picture for used car sales is even more colossal. Used car sales have steadily risen from 37.25 million in 2015, to 40.42 in 2018. Heaps of consumers are taking themselves to car dealerships, manufacturer websites, and online marketplaces to get themselves a shiny, or not so shiny, car. But with so many options on the market, how should you tackle buying a new car? We live in the digital age where we have access to the best technology and services to help us buy the right car. Let us take a look at how technology can help you when buying a car.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Decoders

If you're buying a used car, you must check the car's VIN and run it through a decoder program. The VIN will give you key information about your car such as what year it was made, where it was made, the type and size of the engine, vehicle serial number, and more. You may be wondering why you need to find this from the VIN when you can see which model the car is right in front of you. You see, the VIN acts as a sort of security feature that verifies your vehicle.

Some unreputable sellers may try to sell you a car with a fraudulent VIN, or replace the VIN with a legal one but sell you a stolen car. You should always ask for the VIN and run a check yourself. If the seller is reputable and the car hasn't been stolen or had significant parts replaced, then the VIN should always match what you expect to see.

VINs are also used in product recalls to confirm that a product is faulty. However, not everyone will catch the news when a manufacturer issues a recall. This means there are potentially thousands of cars driving on roads every day that may have faulty parts that are eligible to be replaced. Some people may even be driving entire cars that are eligible for replacement. If you get the VIN of a car you are thinking of buying, you can use it to check that the car hasn't been involved in any recalls.

Use Comparison Websites

Comparison websites like Edmunds can help you compare cars quickly, efficiently, and find the best deals. Comparison websites will tell you the price of the car, its consumer rating, the pros and cons, and how it differs from previous models. It will also allow you to compare the price across different dealerships to help you get the best deal in your local area. These websites are incredibly useful and make the vehicle hunting process a whole lot easier. It used to be the case that you would have to spend a whole day going from one dealership to the next in the hopes of finding the car you want. Now you can go straight to the place with the best deal, and you can do so being much more informed on the vehicle.

Virtual Reality ShowRooms, Tablets, Reviews, and Websites

Dealership Websites

A Deloitte study found that 36% of people looking for a car said the dealerships' website had the highest impact on them choosing which one to visit. This makes sense when you think about it. A dealership website that is clunky, hard to use, and aesthetically displeasing to the eye, is more likely to be considered incompetent by the prospective buyer.

Virtual reality ShowRooms

Some automobile manufacturers are implementing virtual reality showrooms so customers can get an immersive experience of the car without it being physically present. Audi is a perfect example of one such company. Audi has a virtual showroom in London, UK, that allows customers to look inside a car, see it in different environments, and even listen to the sounds the car makes.

Virtual Reality (VR) And Augmented Reality (AR) are becoming increasingly popular as the technology matures and expands in its capabilities. It now appears that the automotive industry doesn't intend to be left behind with this new tech trend. When you consider that 89% of consumers look for vehicle information online, you can see why there is a push to display cars in new and inventive ways through apps and websites.

If you're thinking about buying a car, check whether there's a virtual reality tour available. You just might find something that convinces you to go ahead with the purchase. Equally, you may see something you dislike that you missed when you were casually browsing the car's details.


Seeking out authentic reviews is one of the best ways to determine whether a car is the right fit for you. Luckily, reviews in a multitude of formats are now easy to come by online if you know what you are looking for. Websites like Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and Motor Trend, are all great places to look for authentic customer and expert opinions. It's also a good idea to watch reviews on websites like YouTube where you may get a more detailed overview of a person's experience of the vehicle. By this, we mean that when writing a review a person may leave some details out, believing they are not important or will make the text too lengthy and therefore unappealing to read. This is not a concern with a video format where people are much more likely to detail their end to end experience of a product.

Tablets and Other Tech Gadgets

Car dealerships are also adapting to meet the expectations of consumers in the digital age. The old way of operating a dealership isn't well-liked by consumers. In fact, 87% of American shoppers said they dislike something about the traditional car dealership buying process.

Many dealerships are now taking to using tablets to handle the end to end customer experience while in the dealership. This means a customer can come in and quickly book an appointment through the tablet and be assured they will be seen to. Customers may also be able to browse the catalog of cars on a tablet or touchscreen while they wait. Lastly, all the paperwork is done instantly and transparently which is sure to quell the anxieties of some customers.