The Easiest Way to Buy a New Car
Most new car shoppers today have been begging for one thing: the ability to shop for AND purchase a new car online without having to set foot in a dealership. Imagine going to Amazon.com and being able to browse, customize, and purchase the vehicle of your choice at a great no-haggle price, then have that vehicle delivered to your home without having to deal with any pushy salesman. How great would that be? So why isn't this available now? The reason is due to archaic rules and regulations preventing cars from being sold by anyone except dealerships - hence why we don't see Amazon.com selling cars. But I have some great news for you...
Today, I want to introduce you to Roadster.com, the first site that actually makes it possible to purchase any new vehicle completely online at pre-negotiated prices, and have that vehicle delivered to your home without ever setting foot or even speaking to someone at a dealership. (currently available only in California)
Basically, the way it works is that Roadster provides a dedicated concierge who serves as a buffer between you and the dealer. This concierge is essentially a professional car buyer who is on your side and available to answer any of your questions. They will help you locate the vehicle of your choice (or suggest alternatives), guide you through the entire process, and even help you arrange financing or negotiate add-ons such as extended warranties. But there's more...
Roadster allows you to browse vehicle inventory on your own in a way I've never seen before. Typically, a huge problem when shopping for a new car online is encountering inventory information that is often outdated or just plain wrong. It's difficult to know if the colors and options packages you want are actually available at local dealerships. Roadster has dedicated major resources to solving this frustrating problem, and claims to have the most accurate inventory information available. What I love is that Roadster actually shows you how many vehicles of your exact specifications are currently in stock near you - and if there are none in stock , it shows you the closest matches along with the differences.
I've been testing out the Roadster service for the past couple of weeks, and I must say, I'm extremely impressed. The concierges have been very prompt and helpful in answering all of my questions. One thing I hate about the traditional car buying process is having to communicate with car dealerships. I've found that oftentimes I'm having to send them multiple emails to get simple questions answered (if they answer at all). This can be very time consuming and frustrating - and Roadster has solved this problem. All your questions are taken care of by the concierge. They're the ones that have to communicate with the dealerships on your behalf. I can't tell you how awesome that is!
Browsing vehicle inventory and getting no-haggle price quotes on Roadster is quick, free, and easy, however, if you do end up purchasing a vehicle, there is a $295 fee - which typically includes the vehicle delivered to your home or office.
How Good are the Car Prices?
The no-haggle price you pay for a vehicle through Roadster is usually much better than the average prices paid by other car shoppers for the same model. I did a quick sampling of prices for 6 popular models - the savings through Roadster ranged from $852 to $2,446 compared to average prices paid.
|Vehicle||MSRP||Average Price Paid||Roadster Price||Savings Over Average|
|2015 Hyundai Elantra SE||$18,075||$14,817||$13,965||$852|
|2015 Nissan Altima 2.5S||$23,385||$21,944||$19,897||$2,047|
|2015 Toyota Camry SE||$23,795||$22,151||$20,508||$ 1,643|
|2015 Ford Focus S||$19,090||$16,974||$16,008||$966|
|2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited||$29,790||$27,344||$26,431||$913|
|2015 Honda Accord LX||$23,725||$22,197||$21,259||$938|
While the prices offered through Roadster are typically what I consider great deals, their true unique selling point is the convenience of being able to purchase your vehicle online, and not having to worry about pushy salespeople or dealer shenanigans. You get upfront pricing broken down in detail, and get to work with a concierge who really takes care of all your needs.
Roadster is currently only available in California but will be rolling out nationwide soon. If you live in California and are looking to purchase a new car, I urge you to try Roadster. I'd love to hear your feedback if you do use them.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
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About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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