Buying a car completely online without ever stepping into a dealership showroom is increasingly becoming the norm. With thousands of listings across various automaker websites and third-party portals, car buyers can now easily browse through options, get real-time pricing and even get pre-approved for financing – all from the comfort of their home.
While virtual shopping for vehicles is quite straightforward, the delivery aspect is what raises many questions in a buyer’s mind. How exactly will the car reach my driveway? What are the logistics involved? Will someone assemble it? This article seeks to shed some light on how the entire car home delivery process works when you purchase a vehicle completely online.
Once you finalize your purchase online, the automaker or dealership will work to transport the vehicle from the manufacturing plant or a regional stocking facility to your home. There are a few ways this transport is typically arranged:
- Contracting a professional vehicle transport company – Many large transport providers have nationwide networks to pick up vehicles and deliver them across long distances.
- Using automaker-owned transport fleet – Some brands like Tesla have their own specialized fleets to deliver vehicles from their factories directly to customers.
- Coordinating with local dealers – Cars may also be shipped to a nearby dealership first before the final leg of the journey to your residence via a delivery truck.
The transport mode could be an enclosed carrier truck for new vehicles or an open car hauler for previously owned ones. In most cases, the delivery date is scheduled within 5-7 business days of purchase.
Tracking Your Shipment
Online portals and seller communication allow you to closely track the vehicle shipment en-route. Advance notifications are sent about pickup, estimated time of arrival (ETA) at delivery address and any delays. Real-time GPS tracking is also available for transport fleets.
Delivery Day Prep
On the scheduled delivery date, the carrier pulls up outside your home with your new ride. Prior inspection ensures it’s fully fueled, cleaned both inside and out and ready for handover. The delivery team also carries any accessories or infotainment system setup instructions.
It’s a good idea to clear parking space in your driveway or garage beforehand. Removing any obstacles helps the vehicle be carefully backed in. Temporary movement permits may also need to be displayed if your area has parking restrictions.
Vehicle Inspection & Delivery
The delivery agents will first conduct a joint walkaround inspection with you to point out any pre-existing damage or cosmetic blemishes. This is documented to avoid future liability claims. Next, all vehicle functions and infotainment features are demonstrated.
Finally, you’ll sign the delivery forms acknowledging receipt of the automobile in satisfactory condition. This officially transfers ownership as per the sales agreement. Any initial questions are answered by the delivery team before they depart.
Even after the physical delivery, online car sellers provide virtual assistance channels. A dedicated support number and live chat team address policy, payment or product queries. Online owner manuals and tutorial materials are also accessible anytime via seller websites or automaker apps.
Scheduled service reminders, safety and maintenance recommendations are communicated regularly. Mobile servicing options gain popularity for tasks like oil changes allowing you to avoid trips to a physical dealership.
Challenges of Home Delivery
While home delivery offers immense convenience to car buyers, it is not completely hassle-free. Here are a few challenges that can potentially arise:
Adverse weather conditions like heavy rain, snowstorms or hurricanes can slow down transport times. Vehicles may get stranded midway or carriers reschedule deliveries to avoid unsafe road situations.
Last Mile Logistics
Navigating narrow streets or getting large transport vehicles in/out of congested neighborhoods poses difficulties sometimes. Finding/reserving adequate parking spots can also be an issue.
If customers are unavailable on the delivery date due to unplanned schedule changes, rescheduling entails additional costs. No-contact deliveries leave vehicles exposed until owners take possession.
Rarely, undetected issues may arise en-route requiring vehicles to be sent back for repair. This causes delays and inconvenience until the problem is resolved.
The Future of Car Home Delivery
As online vehicle sales keep surging globally, related logistics networks will sharpen efficiency. Newer models may come pre-assembled from factories, avoiding potential damage. Last-mile shuttles could deliver multiple cars in one go. Buyers may get real-time status updates through VR headsets as well!
Drone and self-driving truck technologies also hold promise. Deliveries could happen autonomously from plant to parking spot with zero human intervention. Contactless handovers reduce health risks. All in all, car home delivery is set for an even smoother ride ahead!
In summary, buying your next car online entails a seamless yet highly coordinated delivery process behind the scenes. With advancing logistical smarts, automakers are making the entire purchase-to-possession journey increasingly convenient. So feel free to shop, select and drive away your dream vehicle, all from the comfort of your home!