Selling Cars with Social Distancing

By Cee Lippens April 13, 2020
Tesla has added Express Delivery and Direct Drop to help with social distancing car sales Tesla has added Express Delivery and Direct Drop to help with social distancing car sales

As Auto Dealers large and small are deemed an essential service across the country dealers are turning to online tools to continue to sell and repair cars during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tesla, which was already set up for online buying and delivery has added new social distancing features to protect the buyer and Tesla employees .

Tesla's curb side drop off
A Tesla delivered with Direct Drop

Tesla developed two new-vehicle pick-up options: Express Delivery and Direct Drop, for customers on edge about Covid-19 exposure. Tesla Express Delivery uses Tesla's smartphone app and each new car's onboard data connection to avoid handling or transferring any car keys. A buyer still shows up in person to a Tesla delivery center to a scheduled appointment. Using the apps location tracking the buyer goes directly to their new car to inspect and sign documents. All documents are in the car ready for signing. An advisor  collects the documents for review while a technician adds a temporary tag and license plate.

With Tesla’s Direct Drop everything is done digitally, paperwork is e-signed and payment is handled online, the buyer then uses the tesla app to pick a location for drop-off. Tesla drops off the car at the requested stop and the buyer unlocks the car with the tesla app. The whole process involves no physical human interaction at all.

Select Toyota dealers are offering to deliver a new or certified vehicle straight to a buyers door at no extra charge, and owners in select areas can have service performed remotely at their home. Toyota has expanded their internet and call center to allow for better remote communication.  GM dealers are offering a similar shopping experience.

Township Chevrolet in Summerside, PE
Township Chevrolet in Summerside, PE

Its not just larger Dealers that are adding successful social distancing buying options for their clients either. Township Chevrolet in Summerside, PE is offering social distancing sales, buy allowing customers to pick a vehicle, set a date and time for a home test drive and then delivering the vehicle to the home for a test drive after being sterilized. They have also made adjustments to allow those who visit the dealership to remain properly distanced.

An issue used car buyers and sellers may run into with selling/buying a vehicle, are inspections from an independent mechanic. Dealers may want to make this easier for their buyers by setting up easy third party inspections where they drop off and pick up the vehicle and certify the vehicle as being disinfected after inspection before it is dropped off to a buyer for a test drive. Paperwork can be left in the vehicle and mailed back to the dealership or completed onlline.

certifying vehicles as disinfected
Certifying vehicles as disinfected in the time of COVID-19

There are currently two major contenders that sell used cars nationwide online.  Vroom and Carvana have been setting the standard for selling cars online across the country for sometime. Vroom vehicles undergo a 126-point inspection before they’re accepted for sale. Carvana vehicles, must pass a 150-point inspection as well as undergo an Experian auto check report. After purchase, customers have the option to test drive their cars for seven days before they can return them. Carsense is offering curb-side delivery in there NY and PE locations and home delivery in other locations .

Adding social distancing options like curb-side drop-off, online paperwork, over the phone sales, drop off test driving, delivering and picking up vehicles for 3rd party inspections and certifying vehicles as disinfected will help normalize car sales during the pandemic . According to Google’s latest stats, 71% of people turn to online searches first to solve their problems. Buying cars is no different , people will be looking for what Dealers are doing to minimize contact with social distancing and protecting the buyers through the whole process of purchasing a vehicle.



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Last modified on Monday, 29 June 2020 21:27