Driverless cars, the petrol and diesel ban, the electric revolution and connected cars are just a number of things happening in the car industry at the moment. There have been many concerns around the future of cars and how we’ll fund them. The fate of the traditional car dealership has been questioned and the physical need for sales people may be disappear as early as 2025! With this in mind, Refused Car Finance take a look at the future of car sales and how consumers buying process may be completely different over the coming years.
One of the biggest advancements in the recent years to the car finance industry is the ability to buy a car online. Yes, that’s right, you could buy a car without even leaving your home! Many big manufacturers such as Dacia, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Smart, Hyundai and BMW all allow you to find your perfect car online and then purchase it with the click of a button. This service usually applies to their new cars only, however, online car sites have also jumped on the bandwagon to offer the ability to buy a used car from reputable dealerships no matter where you are! Choosing to buy your car online has many benefits. Consumers usually feel like they have more freedom and more options to choose from as they are able to do their research independently. Many dealerships have a bad reputation for being pushy and commission focused, but online buying puts the power is in your hands.
One of the biggest drawbacks of buying online is that you don’t get to see the car properly and you can’t exactly take a test drive through your browser. This is where the dealership comes out on top. Your car may be one of the biggest purchases you make in life, so you want to make sure you’ve made the right choice. You also want to make sure you like the car that you’re driving as you’ll probably own it for a good few years so a test drive is a must.
Car finance industry
These days you can get pretty much anything on finance. We are a generation that want things now rather than waiting. Taking your time and saving up is less attractive than spreading the cost of something you want right now. The popularity of car finance is on the rise. This could be due to the number of car loan packages that are available for many different types of circumstances. Even if you were worried about applying for car finance with bad credit, car loan companies tend to look at your current affordability rather than your credit history, which makes it easier to get accepted.
Like buying a car online, you can also sort your finance online. According to Automotive Management Online, 89% of customers are confident about financing a car online. Will this also contribute to the death of the car dealership in the future? However, with many online finance companies you can sort your finance through a website application from but then choose your car from any reputable dealership, meaning that there is still a need for face to face car sales!
Electric cars are on the rise
You’ve more than likely heard of the looming petrol and diesel ban. In the UK, the government have announced that they will ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 and all fuel-powered vehicles should be banned by 2050. With this in mind, how will the cars we buy in the run up to the ban be affected? Will consumers choose electric now? Will we ease ourselves in with a hybrid? Or will we buy petrol and diesel right up until you can’t anymore?
Electric cars are great, right? They provide a quiet and pleasant drive, they produce zero emissions, they have low running costs and they’re eligible for government grants. However, many people still have concerns around electric cars. One of the biggest worries is the initial purchase price which can be a hefty price to pay and are usually lot more than if you were buying a petrol or diesel car. There’s also concerns around charging. Charging time depends on the electric car you have but it certainly takes a lot longer than filling up your car with fuel! There are currently over 8,000 public charging points across the UK but the government has called for more than 80,000 to be available over the next few years to accommodate an increase in electric cars. Many people are also concerned about jobs in the motor industry. Will fuel stations be scrapped and be replaced with charging points that don’t need to be manned? Will car mechanics lose jobs or have to retrain in electric car repairs?
Driverless and connected vehicles
Just like electric cars, driverless cars are also growing in interest. Driverless cars are no doubt happening right now and the UK government have announced that driverless cars could be on the roads as soon as 2021! With this in mind, will you be looking to buy a driverless car instead of an electric one? Whilst traditionally driverless cars are also electric, not all models are. Ford have indicated that hybrid technology is actually the best way forward for driverless technology, which combines a traditional petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor.
Autonomous cars promote many benefits and could reduce a number of accidents caused on the roads. Some of the biggest contributors to accidents are human error, distracted driving, drink driving, speeding and road rage, which can all be reduced by driverless cars. They also provide freedom for the disabled or elderly drivers as they will be less depended on other drivers. However, there are so many concerns around driverless cars. According to the Daily Mail, nearly half of Americans would not buy a driverless car. So, will they ever really take off in our lifetime? There are many worries about the ability to hack driverless cars as they are technology based and also the ability to track them to your personal destinations such as home or work. As mentioned, driverless cars have been praised for the reduction in accidents however, some accidents could be worse due to driverless cars. For example, even just a tiny glitch in a cars coding could results in a serious accident. Driverless cars may be ready for our world but are we ready to purchase them?
With all this in mind, what will the future of car sales look like? Will there still be a need for car dealerships? Or will we see shiny, new, futuristic driverless car dealerships? Do we need to take a test drive if our cars drive themselves? Will there be more options available to finance electric and driverless cars online?