Would you buy a new car TOTALLY online?

Hi - We are a group of MBA students at Portland State University doing research on consumer online car buying preferences.

Would you buy a new car totally online? In other words, the entire transaction is conducted online and then you swing by the dealer to pick up your new car. What are some pros and cons you see to this model? What would potentially motivate you to do it?

Please feel free to take our quick (5-10) min survey. This feedback goes to the auto dealer industry and can help shape how you buy cars in the future!



If you’re going to consider these answers part of a random sample, you probably should not have skipped out of that class on sampling.

This is a car forum. Therefore, the data will not be representative of the population as a whole. It will only be reprsentative of a subgroup.

That’s a valid point, however we are publicizing the study in a number of places, including non-auto related. Being a fan of Car Talk, this forum came to mind as a potentially good source of people interested in discussing car-related issues. OK, actually it was my wife’s idea.

What are they going to do ? pop it in the mail to me ?
I don’t see why I would.

If I was buying a new car, yes, I would be willing to buy it online sight unseen, if I was able to test drive the same exact model locally to make sure it was a good fit.

If I was buying a used car, no, there is no way I would buy it without both test driving it and personally taking it to my mechanic for a thorough inspection.

That’s fine as long as this is an informal non-scientific survey. If it is a scientific survey, you need to find a truly random sample.

Your wife is a smart woman. Keep her.

I personally would not buy a car, new or used, totally online. Even brand new cars can have variations. One might come with Bridgestone tires and the other with Goodyear tires, and the handling might be just different enough for the one that comes in to be not the same as the one I tried at a dealer’s lot. Or the color that I thought was going to be really nice might be really ugly. Or the alignment might be off, or the tires not properly balanced.

For that many thousands of dollars I want to test out exactly the vehicle I buy before I buy it. Even if it was ordered, I want to test it out thoroughly and have any issues resolved before I take acceptance.

I’m insecure. I lack faith in humanity.