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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 better financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools that provide objective and unique content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare information at no cost – so that you can make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The offers that appear on this website are provided by companies who pay us. This compensation could affect how and when products appear on this site, including, for example, the sequence in which they appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law for our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity, and other products for home loans. However, this compensation will not influence the information we provide, or the reviews you see on this site. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial offerings that could be open to you.


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5 minutes read. Read on January 26, 2023.

Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written 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 the car they want.

Edited by Helen Wilbers Edited by

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

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Buying a car can be the second-highest cost purchase that people make during their lifetime. Securing this high-ticket item is typically a unpleasant experience that was accompanied by and on the lot of the dealership. But following the new normal the pandemic brought, a lot of dealers are embracing the and providing a smoother buying experience. Car purchasing in 2023 is a hazard and supply chain issues keeping prices high. As consumers, it’s important to use the shifting purchasing process of cars in your favor. Consider the following ways that the buying process for cars could look different in the next year to both the driver as well as the vendor. What should you expect when purchasing the car of the year we approach 2023, it’s hard to stay clear of news of a looming recession. Economic experts believe that the economy has a 64 percent likelihood of entering recession this year, found. Although the likelihood of a recession is not directly related to a buyer’s experience on the car lot, the high cost of a car in the absence of a dealership could result in additional discomfort when purchasing your next car. The month of December brought another record-breaking cost for new cars of $49,507 as reported by . However, the future isn’t negative dealers have already taken notice of the challenging macro-environmental developments. Bankrate spoke with Dave Thomas, director of content marketing and an automotive market analyst for CDK Global, for insight on the upcoming trends for this year. The price of a vehicle is the main consideration if you’re shopping for a vehicle for this coming year, you -as 48 percent of buyers, according to the — might consider price to be your main consideration. Although the commitment to time for buying a car is a factor for the other half of surveyed consumers, price is most important. This year might be a more tumultuous rollercoaster for drivers, says Thomas. “For shoppers, the focus will be on rates of interest and how to find one that will fit the budget of theirs,” he explains. This “could cause the shopping process to be a bit harder than it has been with the lower inventory.” When you shop, consider you should consider a variety of financing options to make sure you sign off on the best deal, even when you pay higher prices and interest rates. Bankrate’s tip

If you are considering a purchase, think about the total of what you’ll need to pay — more than just your monthly cost.

The inventory is low. When customers head out to a dealership they have an idea of the type of vehicle they want to purchase. However, there are many drivers who have found showrooms empty of their dream car. In the CDK’s six-month period , “the number of shoppers finding the car they want in stock hasn’t broken 50,” says Thomas. In addition, inventory is down compared to 2019. While conditions are improving, inventory remains low, 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 seeing inventories returning, but most are different in the number of cars are in stock,” Thomas says. This “led to an increase in consumers buying cars from the factory , with the process being handled at dealerships.” The options to purchase online are growing. The standard car buying experience hasn’t had any major changes in recent years and people have become accustomed to the long-winded process of buying a new or used car from a dealership. This shift into purchasing cars online isn’t something that’s completely new. Lots of local dealers have online marketplaces for customers to look at their inventory prior to arriving on the lot. But the car buying experience has become more detailed in recent years. The break many drivers have taken from the car purchasing process due to the cost can also mean that they require additional guidance when shopping. While online shopping is on the rise, Thomas explains that “76 percent of those we surveyed said they wanted to take time to fully understand their options,” this is an increase from 70 percent in 2021 as per the survey for the year 2023 . If you were one of the motorists who remained on the sidelines during the last year due to the steep cost be assured of the flexibility of this market. Dealerships will continue operating While the traditional dealership isn’t going to disappear in the near future, it has seen shifts in its operations following the pandemic. A lot of drivers are making use of online shopping as well as when local dealers have empty lots. However 91% of consumers used the traditional method to purchase a car over the past year, according to the CDK survey. More interestingly, those 9 percent of drivers that did complete their car buying process fully online didn’t rate their satisfaction very high. With this in mind, it’s best not to overlook the hands-on experience it offers. However, many dealerships offer the best of both worlds approach with the option to start online and finish in the store. Thomas explained this change. Many legacy automakers are “streamlining the online shopping experience and trying to make the switch from doing a portion of the process online to an effortless experience in the store.” Drivers gain from the ability to crunch the numbers at the convenience of at home, yet still have a driving experience before signing the paperwork. There are four ways to utilize online car shopping to your advantage Online car buying is still relatively new and will require some learning. While some advice falls within the realm of the traditional approach to car purchasing, consider these tips when skipping the showroom floor. 1. If you are able to research in person, or not, researching to find is the initial step to buying a car. Take note of the factors that are most important to you including the dimensions of the car, fuel economy or even the style and color. While you might not be able explore the new car personally, YouTube car tours are an excellent way to explore the particulars of what a vehicle has to offer. 2. Create a budget after you have set your sights on the kind of car you want, it is important to figure out the amount you’re willing to spend and . This will require some additional work but is much easier without a salesperson pressuring you. Take advantage of being there at home and take into account the various factors that contribute to your decision like your income, fuel, insurance and any additional costs for your vehicle. 3. Check local inventory Another advantage to shopping for your vehicle on the internet is the ability to look up local inventory prior to making a visit to the dealership. It can be done by a variety of methods. Find specific dealers in your area and search for such as “Toyotas available near me” or use websites like Edmunds or TrueCar. This will also aid in understanding the pricing landscape for the vehicle you’ve always wanted. 4. Chat online with salespeople Negotiation is among the most daunting aspects of car buying however, when you’re in front of a computer screen it’s much easier to haggle for the price you deserve. A majority of online marketplaces you will encounter will include a chat feature. Use it as a platform to ask the appropriate questions. Focus on being firm, and then share the information you have gathered in your research of local inventory to determine competing pricing options. The bottom line is clear the experience of buying a car has changed for both the seller and buyers over the last few due to a combination of factorsincluding global pandemic inflation, global pandemic as well as supply chain issues, and the advancement of technological. But it is important to keep in mind that a change in the industry is happening and is providing more transparency and accessibility for the driver. Even though it’s likely that car dealerships are going to disappear entirely, you should consider buying online to save time and money.


Writen by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers with the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase an automobile.

Editor: Helen Wilbers Edited by

Helen Wilbers has been editing for Bankrate from late 2022. He values transparent reporting that allows readers to successfully get deals and make most appropriate choices regarding their finances. He is a specialist in auto and small business loans.

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