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How the car buying process has changed in 2023 Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering you interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing independent and objective content. This allows users to conduct research and compare data at no cost – so that you can make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The products that are featured on this website are provided by companies that pay us. This compensation can affect the way and when products are featured on this site, including for instance, the sequence in which they be displayed within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. However, this compensation will not influence the information we publish, or the reviews appear on this website. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial deals that could be accessible to you.


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5 minutes read. Published January 26, 2023

Writen by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase an automobile.

Edited by Helen Wilbers Edited by

Helen Wilbers has been editing for Bankrate since the end of 2022. He is a fan of transparent reporting that allows readers to successfully get deals and make best decisions for their financials. He specializes in small business and auto loans.

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Buying a car can be the second largest purchase that people make during their lives. It was historically a painful experience filled with and at the dealership lot. In the wake of the new norm the pandemic brought, a lot of dealers are taking on the challenge of creating a more seamless buying experience. The buying of cars in 2023 is fraught with supply chain challenges that are keeping costs high. As consumers, it is important to use the shifting car buying process for your benefit. Take note of the ways car buying may look different in the coming year, for both the car owner and the seller. What should you expect when purchasing the car of the year we get closer to 2023, it’s hard to ignore news of the possibility of a recession. Economic experts believe that the economy has an 85% chance of experiencing a recession this year, found. While the probability of a recession is not directly linked to the customer’s experience on the lot, expensive prices outside the dealership could mean additional discomfort when purchasing your next car. December was the month that saw yet another record-breaking purchase price for new vehicles at $49,507 according to . However, the future isn’t all doom and gloom as dealers are taking note of the challenging macro-environmental trends. Bankrate spoke to Dave Thomas, director of content marketing as well as an automotive sector analyst with CDK Global, for insight on upcoming trends this year. Price is still the most important factor when you’re looking to buy a car for this coming year, you -like 48 percent of buyers, according to the — could be using price as the main consideration. The time commitment for buying a car is an important consideration for the remaining 50% of respondents the most significant factor is price. This year is likely to be a bit of a roller coaster for motorists, says Thomas. « For buyers, the main focus will be on interest rates and finding one that fits the budget of theirs, » he explains. This « could create a bit harder than it was previously due to the lower inventory. » If you are shopping, make sure to consider numerous financing options are available to ensure you sign off on the most favorable bargain, even with higher prices and higher interest rates. Tips from Bankrate

If you are considering a purchase, think about the total of what you will have to cover and not just the monthly cost.

In the event that people head to a dealer they are aware about the kind of vehicle they want to purchase. But many have come across showrooms empty of the cars they’d like to purchase. In the six months of CDK , « the number of shoppers finding the car they’re looking for available has not exceeded 50 percent, » says Thomas. Even more inventory is lower compared to 2019. Although conditions are improving, supply remains below demand according to J.D. Power. The lack of inventory has also resulted in an increase of people who don’t go to the dealer altogether. « Some brands are experiencing inventories returning, but almost all have a distinct number of vehicles are in stock, » Thomas says. This « led to an increase in people ordering vehicles cars from the factory , with the process being handled at the dealer. » There are more options for buying online will increase. The traditional purchase of a car hasn’t received a major makeover in many years and people are used to the lengthy process of getting a new or used vehicle from a dealer. The move to the purchase of cars online isn’t an entirely new concept. Lots of local dealers have offered online marketplaces for customers to look at options prior to visiting the lot. However, the car buying experience has become more in-depth recently. The break many drivers took from the car buying process due to high prices is also a reason why many people require additional guidance when shopping. While online shopping is on the rise, Thomas explains that « 76 percent of the people we interviewed said they wanted to spend time trying to fully understand their options, » which is up from 70 percent in 2021 in accordance with the report for 2023 . If you were one of the motorists who were forced to stay off the road for the last year because of high prices, you can take comfort in this flexibility. Dealerships will remain in operation. the traditional dealer isn’t expected to go out of business anytime soon, it has seen shifts since the outbreak. Many motorists are now taking advantage of online purchasing, particularly when local dealers have empty areas. Yet the majority of buyers still took the traditional route to purchase a car over the past year, as reported by CDK’s survey. In addition, the 9 percent of drivers that did complete their car buying process fully online didn’t rate the experience highly. This is why it’s a good idea not to miss the real-world experience it offers. However, many dealerships offer customers the most beneficial of approach, with the option to begin online and then finish in the store. Thomas explained this switch. Many legacy automakers are « streamlining the online process and are trying to facilitate the transition from doing part of the transaction online an effortless experience in the car. » Drivers are benefiting from the ability to crunch the numbers from the comfort of at home but still have a driving experience prior to signing the papers. There are four ways to utilize the internet to your advantage Online car buying is still relatively new, and it will require some learning. While some advice falls within the realm of conventional car buying, think about these guidelines when you’re avoiding the showroom floor. 1. Research In person or not, researching to find the most relevant information is the first step to buying a car. Take note of the factors that are most important to you such as the size of the vehicle and its fuel efficiency, or the style and color. Although you may not be able to explore your new ride on the road, YouTube car tours are an excellent resource for seeing the particulars of what a car has to offer. 2. Set a budget After you decide on the kind of car you’d like to purchase, it’s important to figure out what you’re willing spend and . This requires additional work but is much more straightforward without having a salesperson pressure you. Take advantage of being home and consider all the factors that affect you including your earnings as well as insurance, fuel and additional vehicle costs. 3. Find local inventory Another benefit when shopping for your car online is the option to check local inventory before making a visit to the dealership. This can be done in a few ways. Check out the local dealers and search for by, for instance « Toyotas that are sold near me » or look up websites such as Edmunds as well as TrueCar. This will also aid in because you’ll better grasp the pricing landscape for the car you want to buy. 4. Chat online with salespeople . Negotiation can be among the most daunting aspects of car buying, but when you’re sitting in front of a computer, it is much easier to haggle for the price you deserve. Most of the online marketplaces that you’ll encounter have a chat option. Make use of this feature to ask the appropriate questions. Focus on being firm, and share information you found in your research of local inventory to determine different pricing options. The bottom line It’s clear the experience of buying a car has changed for both the dealer and buyers over the last few years due to a variety of factorsincluding global pandemic and inflation, supply chain issues and the rapid growth of technological. But it is important to be aware that a re-design in the industry is happening which is bringing more transparency and accessibility for the consumer. So even though it is likely that car dealerships will completely disappear, think about purchasing online and saving time and money.


Writen by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers with the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to purchase a car.

Editor: Helen Wilbers Edited by

Helen Wilbers has been editing for Bankrate since late 2022. He values the clarity of his reporting, which helps readers confidently get deals and make best choices for their finances. He specializes in small business and auto loans.

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