The pandemic changes the way used cars are bought in urban India, perhaps forever

Buying a pre-owned car has traditionally required in-person showroom visits, detailed inspections and prolonged negotiations. No longer. Today an increasingly large number of car buyers are content to click on the pages of an e-tailer’s online showroom, compare and match offerings, read about verified details of the cars and then narrow down on the one they would like to test-drive. And, more often than not, this test drive has led to outright purchase.

This confident buying behaviour may be owed to the way car retailers who are online, address factors that breach the trust gap between the industry and prospective customers. Detailed inspection reports, verified ownership history, 360 degree view of cars, fixed prices and a range of other measures have earned customer trust. Also, contactless and fully sanitized car-buying, replete with doorstep test drives and deliveries, has increasingly appealed to would-be car buyers in the new normal. Moreover, 2021 has been the year where reliable personal transportation, a car of one’s own, in effect — has been the need of the hour.

Spinny, a full-stack used car retailing platform, can attest to this change in buying behaviour.

It has recorded conversions and sales, from online bookings to home delivery, in a matter of hours in cities like Bengaluru, where over half its carefully selected inventory finds its way to new owners. Spinny reports an online buys without even a test drive, undertaken by among others, an IT engineer based in California, for his aged parents in Bengaluru. Another Pune-based customer became a loyalist after being disappointed by the quality and experience in the city’s local dealerships.

Spinny has sold about 1200 cars a month from January, 21 with more than 80% of the overall transactions are done via choosing a car online, home test drive and home deliveries across the 14 cities that Spinny operates in. In Bengaluru, the number is more than 90% where transactions are complete in a matter of hours, from online booking to home delivery of their car.  Used-car platform Spinny sees 65% of first-time buyers; the percentage of women has doubled from 10% in 2019 to more than 20% presently.

Says Niraj Singh, Founder, Spinny – “Our limited and extremely finely-tuned catalogue is working in our favour. In these times, customers want a reliable car, and we are well-known for our diligence in terms of quality. Besides quality, a customer seeks a well-rounded ownership experience weighted in their favour. We offer a five-day moneyback guarantee, Assured buyback within 6 months, a 1 year warranty complimentary year-long insurance and a very favourable upgradation policy.” That’s why people who browse for a used car online, are more often than not – driving Spinny cars, home-delivered to them in safety and on time.”  

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