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The Future of Car-buying

3 Mins read

What will dominate the car-buying experience for both buyers and sellers in 2030, 2040, and beyond? Will it be online and virtual for an enhanced personalized experience with various customizing options for users? Let us take a closer look at how car-buying will transition over the years especially under the Covid-19 influence.

In-person Dealership

Buying a car is a valuable decision as it influences the lives of people. Thus, almost all of them consider an in-person experience. People are accustomed to test drives, feeling-out their future car and prefer physical interaction with the car and the dealer. According to research from Forbes;

“92% of car buyers consider the test drive a critical part of the buying process.”

They believe it helps them analyze that their money is being invested fairly. Their opinions strongly advocate that the in-person dealership cannot be replaced with the new digital. Although 42% of dealers say that implementing digital tools and solutions will enhance their financing transparency, and buyers agree. And, 76% of dealers agree that their staff’s personal touch, in combination with digital tools, will enhance relationship-building (Forbes).

Digital Evolution

Dealers are evolving rapidly by adopting new technologies. They are digitalizing car buying to offer a more personalized and tailored experience to their buyers to meet the challenges of the pandemic. The future of dealership is envisioned with minimum but customizable cars to offer more of a tailored-feel for the buyer. To make it simpler, there will be very few cars in the future, but with the help of virtual reality, buyers will be able to customize/transform them as per their purpose, needs and preferences.

The user perspective on the future of car buying is their current need for a more personalized experience. When thinking of an omnichannel car buying experience, users will be more focused on the feature set they want while searching for a vehicle on the websites rather than a particular brand.

That being said, the dealership will also evolve with the new digital. There will be purchases based on packages too as per the buyer’s requirement to offer them different cars as per their various needs for a limited time. For example, you can have a convertible for summer and an SUV for your weekends for off-roading shenanigans. So, the digital evolution will be more focused on making the car buying more personalized and fun. However, the shift from a physical dealership, digital, to a virtual showroom will be easily adapted in China or Asia than in European countries as the dealers and companies there are under strict regulations for physical dealerships. Talking about dealerships, the local providers might prevail in the future, providing their services of new or used cars. They will have their own customer base who will prefer them for their personal ease or reason. However, they might adapt the evolution as per their need or change their role in general.

According to a detailed analysis by McKinsey & Company;

Almost all new cars will have some level of connectivity by 2023, enriching the experience for car drivers and riders while opening up new avenues for businesses to create value.

They believe connectivity will be one of the four forces among autonomous driving, electrification, and shared mobility. They described new vehicles of 2030 by the following connectivity levels.

General Hardware Connectivity: 

The driver will be able to track basic vehicle usage and monitor technical status.

Individual Connectivity:

The driver will use their personal profile to access digital services via external digital ecosystems and platforms.

Preference-based Personalization:

All occupants will enjoy personalized controls, their own infotainment content, and targeted contextual advertising.

Multisensorial Live Interaction:

All occupants will interact live with the vehicle and receive proactive recommendations on services and functions.

Virtual Chauffeur:

Cognitive AI will fulfill all occupants’ explicit and unstated needs, predicting and performing complex, unprogrammed tasks.

No More Negotiations

When it comes to prices, the future of car buying is imagined without negotiations. The cars will feature a fixed and relatively low cost, but it will be for a month of usage or a specific mileage. There will be different car packages based on their prices, but they will be fixed and non-negotiable for sure.


The preferences of customers vary widely. They might change over time and with the recent developments. Then there come different kinds of customers with their particular likings, purposes, and priorities. The dealers will have to decide which kind of customers they wish to serve, then based on their audience, they will have to specialize, adapt, and modernize with time. 

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