Charging up, not filling up. New makes and models. High performance cars that do 0-60 in a few seconds. Electric cars are revolutionising the auto industry in more ways than one. They’re also changing the way we buy cars, and the relationship we have with car dealers.
Here are 5 ways you’ll see a difference in our car buying habits.
1. You’ll deal directly with car manufacturers
The traditional model of car sales has car manufacturers selling to dealers, then dealers selling to the public.
It worked, kind of. It allowed car companies to get on with designing, producing, and marketing their cars, while dealers took care of the sales and financing bit.
But times change, and the world has gone digital. We’ve now got access to a wealth of info about any car make, model, or variant we can dream of.
And it’s in this context that EV startups such as Tesla are turning the old-school model on its head.
Tesla sell directly to customers. No middle-man, just a website and a network of showrooms, all owned by the company.
It fits well with digital-first millennials and Gen Z. They’re so comfortable online that by the time they come to buy, they’ll probably know their new ride’s specs better than the manufacturer.
It’s a far cry from the old days, when you’d turn up at a forecourt with a vague idea of what you wanted, and the dealer would show you what they had in stock.
Almost 80% of used car buyers are millennials or Gen Z, and they’re driving the shift to online car-buying. Just look at the rise of online used car retailers such as Cinch, Cazoo, and others. Industry analysis suggests half of all sales could be made online by 2030.
2. You won’t need to haggle anymore (phew!)
Del Boy won’t be happy, but this revolution in car sales is also likely to spell an end to haggling.
It’s been such a part of the process that the Google search “How to haggle when buying a new car” gets over 24 million results.
But let’s be honest, it’s not something many of us look forward to. Are you getting a deal or getting stung? Who knows?
Dealing directly with manufacturers usually means transparent pricing. You wouldn’t, after all, expect to walk into an Apple Store and haggle over the price of an iPad.
3. You’ll get a hybrid buying experience: online and in-person
Despite the digital shift, there’s still a key role for car dealerships.
Buying a new car is a little more significant than buying a new iPad. Most folk won’t be comfortable with a 100% online experience.
After all, who doesn’t want to sit in the car, crank the stereo up, and fiddle with the controls before committing?
It paves the way for a hybrid buying experience.
You’ll do most of your research online on the car manufacturer’s website. Explore the specs and choose your options, from battery size to trim colour.
Then, you’ll organise a test drive at a local dealer for the chance to get behind the wheel before you take the plunge.
It’s going to make the in-person experience much more about confirming a choice you’re already pretty sure about, rather than having the dealer sell different models to you.
4. You’re less likely to need to go to your auto dealer for spare parts
Electric cars are more state-of-the-art than their petrol counterparts.
The internal combustion engine is very much a mechanical affair. Sure, the tech has advanced incredibly over the decades, but the basic premise hasn’t changed for well over a hundred years.
Because electric cars use software and electronics rather than pistons and rods, they tend to need fewer parts.
And when they do need attention, it’s often a simple software upgrade – just like when your smartphone updates.
This means you’re less likely to need to keep going back with those mysterious niggles that the mechanics can’t figure out.
In our book, that’s got to be a good thing.
5. Dealers will start selling EV lifestyle bundles
A vital piece of the EV-ownership experience is how you charge your car up.
If your home allows it (check our article 7 things to consider before you buy an EV charger), a home EV chargepoint is a game-changer.
It means you’re able to charge up at your convenience. No more dashes to the petrol station before a trip. No need to sit in a supermarket car park while you wait for a public chargepoint to do its thing.
Get home, plug in, chill out. Easy.
Add solar panels and a smart energy system into the mix and you’ll take it to the next level (check out our guide on charging your EV with solar here).
Solar panels mean you can charge your car for free (yep, that’s right. Free fuel for your car.)
And if you’re not able to charge with solar, a smart energy system will make sure you’re always on the cheapest tariff for your needs.
It makes driving an EV either free or super cheap – typically 80% cheaper than the cheapest gas guzzler per mile.
Car dealers recognise how important all this is to the EV ownership experience too, so they’re starting to offer all-inclusive packages that include all the tech you need.
Car + home charger + solar panels. Everything you need for sustainable, low-cost, high-tech motoring.
The final word
As petrol and diesel cars are phased out and EVs are ushered in, the whole car industry is evolving. If you ask us, it’s all good.
Cars that are quieter, smoother, and easier to drive. Lower running costs. Less pollution. And a buying experience that blends the best of online and in-person.
Oh, and no more haggling.
What’s not to like?
We’re experts in sustainable home technology, including home EV chargepoints, solar panels, home batteries, and smart energy systems. If you want a low carbon lifestyle that’s light on the planet and your wallet, talk to us today.
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