Buying a new car from... Amazon?

Amazon has partnered with Hyundai, to allow people to buy a new car online, with dealers involved in some sort of subsidiary way. I wonder if this new marketing method will spread to other manufacturers, and I also have to wonder if potential buyers actually go to a dealership to do a test-drive prior to purchase, and why they wouldn’t simply buy directly from a dealership.

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I’m gonna say No, they don’t do a test drive!

And then they’ll come here and ask if the seats can be replaced or the suspension made softer! :crazy_face:


… or if all of those models are noisy, or… whatever…


I’m betting Amazon is going to have much less overhead and pass those savings on to the consumer making it very attractive to people who might otherwise be willing to buy in this way. It also offers a hassle free transaction compared to the typical dealer antics. There are some things I am very reluctant to buy online. A car would be one of them. But I’d have to see what kind of savings might be involved before I pass final judgement :wink:

Several companies over the years have done this. One was a local wholesaler called BJs. BJs also had deals with the car rental companies. The deals to the customer were never good. Could always do better negotiating.

A good example–albeit one that wasn’t successful–was Sears, selling Kaiser’s Henry J cars, rebadged as Sears Allstate cars. Kaiser dealers weren’t fond of servicing these cars because they featured more equipment than the Henry Js that were sold at the dealership, and the Allstates also sold at a lower price.

In total, less than 3,000 Allstates were sold over its 2 year lifespan, and the Henry J itself was discontinued not very long after the Allstate model bit the dust.

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As I recall, other warehouse club, like BJs referenced above, also have car buying programs. I have never used them. Been using the same dealership for over 20 years, not going to change now. I know them, they know me.

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Costco has a car-buying program, but the dealerships that participate in the program are somewhat limited.

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Carvana and Vroom are both online car buying as well as Carmax offers online buying…

I have had many customers that bought from Carvana and said they would do it again and recommended it, I have seen Vrooms roll back tow trucks delivering vehicles a few times…
So none of this is new… although these are newer used vehicles, it is the same process…

I know a lot if not most of the new car dealers will also let you buy the car online, but I don’t know if they deliver or you go pick it up…

I have never bought a car of any age online or sight unseen, just old school that way I guess…
But as my disability affects my standing for 2 minutes and walking for much distance, online option is looking more and more like something I might consider when/if I buy another vehicle… But NOT a Kia/Hyundai… lol

But I do order about/most everything else online and do curb side pick up or delivery…

This setup with Amazon sounds different than the BJ/Costco system, they use often use Truecar to connect the buyer to a dealer. I’m guessing Amazon will handle more of the transaction.

OK, pays to read the article. :wink: I don’t see any advantage to the process from a pricing perspective except you’re not face to face with the dealership jumping through their hoops. It still goes through them so I suspect their profit is still factored in. I’m not a big fan of adding yet another level of obfuscation to the buying process. I want one finger to point if there are any issues to resolve. Dealer: you need to take that up with Amazon. Amazon: this needs to be resolved by the dealer…


That’s not something I’d do, but I can see how Covid-fears might make a no-dealership-visit car purchase an attractive method to many. Especially since it appears Covid is here to stay.

Like everything else at Amazon, they are mostly just pricing contracts. Maybe they’ll actually stock a few in their warehouses for two day delivery. The kids will love just punching in a car purchase on their phones though.

I’m not as down on dealerships as some though and find they provide valuable pre and post purchase services. Buy a disposable car though and guess you just need someone to haul it away.

In addition to Covid fear, some people just don’t like the car buying experience. My sister and her wife don’t like negotiating when buying a car. They always shop at a dealership with no haggle buying. They use the internet to find out if delayers are pricing well then walk in and buy one. They and people like them would likely be happy buying a car completely online.

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No-haggle pricing was one of the original selling points for Saturn vehicles, and it probably brought more people to the showroom. Unfortunately, GM later decided to make Saturns not unique by eliminating their dent-proof plastic body, and it just became another badge-engineered Chevy/Pontiac before it was discontinued.

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When my daughter was still 15yo she found her 1st car online at the local Toyota dealers used car lot, took her awhile, but she found it and we went and checked it out and bought it the same day… She looked online again for her 2nd (current) vehicle and had it narrowed down to a couple, we went and looked and drove one home… lol
I don’t know if she would buy online without driving it 1st, but great to know what the lot has before wasting time driving there and checking it out…

Buying on-line from a dealer around here is a joke. Many places say they have on-line pricing. But when you click on the car for the on-line pricing - they say “Call us for a quote”. They do NOT do any quotes on-line.

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I bought my 2021 Ram 1500 ecodiesel thru the Costco buyer program. I wanted a truck with some unusual options for towing. So I had to do a special order for things dealers typically don’t order on a truck that sits on the lot in my area. I found the Costco program offered pricing that no dealer was willing to even get close to.
Not sure what Amazon intends, but car buying could be improved. They need to drop the swarmy salesmen, the 4 square pricing sheet, low ball trade in offers, upselling of fabric treatment, financing, rust proofing, undercoating etc, etc.


Not sure what that is, explain?


Its a tool to get you distracted from the actual price of the car and concentrate instead on what you are getting for your used car and the monthly payment. Read the entire article and you get an idea of how effective it is to those who lose track of what is important: the price of the car. It’s old school and still used.