Used Car Buyers Show Faith in Online Shopping
A third of Autoquake customers buy unseen
Autoquake (www.autoquake.com), the UK’s largest online used car retailer, has discovered that nearly a third of its customers choose to have their car delivered. That means more than three out of ten (30.5%) buy the car unseen.
The proportion of buyers choosing delivery rather than collection from Autoquake’s handover centres in Leeds and Birmingham has steadily increased, suggesting buyers are becoming happier to spend thousands of pounds over the internet. Looking back over the past six months, in March just over a quarter of Autoquake customers opted for delivery. In August that had risen to over 35%.
“Used car buyers are becoming more comfortable shopping online,” said Autoquake CEO, Garry Hobson. “With full descriptions of every car, and 40 high quality pictures showing the interior and exterior in detail, there’s no need to see the vehicle before taking delivery. Every car comes with Autoquake’s 7 day money back guarantee, so shoppers can buy with confidence.”
Visitors to www.autoquake.com also benefit from the condition viewer, which shows up any cosmetic blemishes. Unlike a conventional car showroom, Autoquake is open for business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so visitors can shop at a time that’s convenient to them from the comfort of their own home.
“Buying from Autoquake is an entirely different experience from visiting a main dealer or car supermarket,” explained Hobson. “There’s no need to travel miles to see the cars, and since we don’t employ salesmen, there’s no pressure to buy. It’s a simple, straightforward way to find a great used car, so it’s no surprise that many customers choose to buy from us without seeing the car first.”
Those who do choose to buy unseen are usually very happy with their purchase. Over 98% of customers decided to keep the car rather than return it using the 7 day money back guarantee in the last quarter. What’s more, price seems to be no barrier to buying unseen. The average price of cars delivered over the past six months is £7,349, but one buyer paid £24,185 for a BMW 320i Convertible.
The cost of delivery varies depending on where the customer lives and which Autoquake handover centre has the car in stock. Typically, car delivery from the Birmingham handover centre to an address in London costs just £100, little more than the price of travelling up by train and fuel for the drive home.
For many, delivery is simply a more convenient way to buy. Customers in the Midlands live within easy striking distance of the Birmingham handover centre, but 15% still choose the hassle-free option of having the car brought to them.
Table: - cars delivered from both Autoquake centres (Leeds and Birmingham) as a percentage of total sales per region:
East Anglia 45%
North East 34%
North West 28%
South East 43%
South West 41%
Autoquake’s proven online retail model sells high quality used cars on behalf of large corporate fleet and leasing companies direct to consumers through its website www.autoquake.com. Autoquake has pioneered the concept of enabling consumers to buy a used car from the comfort of their home. Cars are displayed in Autoquake’s virtual showroom with descriptions including 40 high quality digital pictures. The breadth and transparency of information about the vehicle dramatically improves the purchase experience for the buyers who are enthusiastically embracing the Autoquake model which includes low, no haggle prices. All cars go through a 141 point inspection and come with a 100% money back guarantee. Car finance, warranty, insurance, and delivery are supplementary options that buyers can benefit from.
Fleets typically remarket cars through trade channels such as wholesale auctions where cars are sold at trade prices to car dealers. For fleets Autoquake is an attractive disposal channel that gives them a slice of the retail margin whilst delivering days to sale that are similar to auctions. Autoquake sells used cars on behalf of large fleet and leasing companies. The ex-company cars are taken directly from the UK fleet operators, prepared to retail condition and sold via the Autoquake website. Because Autoquake takes out a step in the value chain, it can provide higher returns for fleets while still saving consumers money. The company is funded by leading venture capital companies Accel Partners and Highland Capital Partners who investor in companies such as Facebook, Digg and Real Networks.
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