Conduct basic car research from home
As you start your search for a new vehicle, use online resources to identify the makes and models you're most interested in. Many shoppers can narrow down their options just by focusing on the type of vehicle they want, such as an SUV or a sedan, and/or identifying a handful of automotive brands they trust.
Tools like Oklahoma Central’s AutoSMART or Consumer Reports can help you research vehicle options based on safety ratings, customer satisfaction, and a number of other data points.1 With this information in-hand, you can likely narrow down your options even further, coming up with a select final list of vehicles to choose from.
Schedule test drives that start and end at your home
Typically, the next phase of shopping for a vehicle involves going to a dealership and taking that vehicle for a test-drive. Since that isn't possible in many parts of the United States right now, dealerships are doing something different: Bringing vehicles to your home and letting you take a test-drive on your own.
In most cases, drivers can take 10 to 30 minutes to test out the vehicle before returning to their home and parking the vehicle outside. The vehicle is then picked up by an associate and returned to the dealership. This allows the customer to test-drive a vehicle without ever interacting with a dealership employee.
Negotiate terms and choose features remotely
Once you've picked out the vehicle you want to drive, you can use phone calls or email to negotiate a final price and discuss various features, warranties, and other options you want to include. This saves customers from the exposure of sitting in a small office with a dealership sales associate. It also allows you to negotiate these terms at your own pace as you juggle work and other responsibilities at home.
Have your new vehicle delivered to your home
Once you've finalized your agreement and made the payment to the dealership, the vehicle is yours. Instead of going to the lot to pick it up yourself, dealerships will offer to deliver the new vehicle to your home.
Delivery service was already offered by some dealerships to improve customer convenience, but the challenges of the pandemic have made this an industry standard. If you prefer to shop from home anyway, this new car-buying arrangement will save you time traveling to and from the dealership and make it easier to conduct research. You can end up with the perfect vehicle to suit your needs.
If you're ready to start the process of shopping for and buying a new vehicle, start by securing a low rate from your credit union. From there, you can shop the open market with full confidence in what kind of price range you can qualify for.