Shopping for a car in 2017 is very different than it was even 10 years ago. For the most part, this is because more and more people are starting the process online. Whether you’re looking at a local car park, a particular make or model, or even something unique that isn’t sold in your area, you can go online and typically find out everything you need to know about a vehicle.

Now, that’s not to say you shouldn’t spend some time shopping in person also. Most people want to see, feel, and test drive a car before committing to buying it, and these are steps you can’t complete at your computer screen. Nevertheless, online car shopping might have more to offer than you realize. Here’s what shopping online can do for you, using a few different makes and dealers as examples.

Customer Reviews

It’s a subtle thing, but the very fact that you can sometimes access customer reviews makes online shopping worth it – even if you’re just browsing. An online Chevrolet dealership makes this perk particularly clear by putting customer reviews front and center on the homepage menu, and once you dive into the section you can see a range of reviews for several different car models. In this particular case, reviews are out of five stars and can include small comments from customers. In most cases they’re discussing the service they received, but you can also see the cars they chose, which gives you a good idea of how they felt about the purchases. It’s certainly a good place to start as you set about your search for a new car.


This is perhaps the trendiest feature in online car shopping, and is best demonstrated by one of Cadillac’s online car dealerships. There, the “shop-click-drive” feature is almost literally symbolized by a button that leads you to the online retail section, where you can quite literally purchase your next vehicle online. Again, many still prefer to see a car in person, and test drive it if possible. But even if you’ve done this, you can make the final transaction online, simplifying the process and occasionally saving a little bit of money by avoiding those last second surprises they can get you with in person.


We don’t tend to think of dealers in terms of renting vehicles so much as buying them. For that matter, we usually aren’t thinking of rentals at all when we’re in the market! But if you need a car and you’re simply not ready to commit to a purchase yet, renting one can be a nice backup plan. It gives you something to drive, and it may even help you to determine what you’re looking for in your next vehicle. This online Ford dealership online makes a point of featuring rentals, though not all online dealers do. It’s certainly something to keep an eye out for if you’re in limbo.

Service Pick Up

Lastly, it’s also worth keeping in mind that if you do business with an online car vendor, you can generally sign up for an agreement by which they’ll agree to pick up your car whenever it’s due for service. That might sound a little bit excessive, but it’s actually a very convenient perk that can save you a lot of time and energy as long as you have your next car. The online Lincoln dealership makes a particular point of promoting this service, suggesting it provides “seamless ownership” and gives you back the time you’d otherwise spend organizing service on your own.

In-person car shopping definitely still has its benefits. But these are some of the features and perks that are leading a lot of people to look for their next vehicles on the internet.

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