UK based startup, Carspring, have changed the way people buy cars in an online car buying revolution that’s been rocking the core of the UK’s £45 billion used car sector since it launched in 2015.
The London based and investment backed startup are one in a chain of startups that have set their sights firmly on segments within the automotive sector. However, perhaps the only one to genuinely succeed in taking on the traditional used car retailing model.
Carspring source their used cars in pretty much the same way as traditional dealerships, but in some cases cut out the historic middleman and instead source direct from large car groups. Once sourced, inspected and ready for sale, cars are added to their website and can be searched based on a whole plethora of requirements, this enables you to narrow the list down to just the cars you might be interested in. In fact, they go as far as to refer to themselves as matchmakers and when you discover that co-founder, Peter Baumgart, has a background in online dating, you begin unraveling the startup’s roots.
For used car shoppers, it eliminates the stress and hassle of a sales fuelled encounter with a car dealership and its heavily commissioned entourage of employees. Meanwhile, unrivalled peace of mind comes in the form of the trailered or driven delivery of your chosen car and a subsequent 14 day test drive period. However, before this takes place you must have purchased the car. Essentially, this means you have the option to return the car within 14 days and upon doing so will receive a refund equivalent to the amount paid.
Of course, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea as some will always prefer the touch, feel and smell experience of visiting a bricks and mortar dealership.
That said, millennials and generation Z more so, have been born into a connected world and many simply won’t have experienced life without the internet. Both these and future generations are subsequently likely to be more susceptive to an online car buying experience, in which, the first time you see the car in the flesh is when it’s being delivered.
However, their disruptive model hasn’t stopped there as Carspring also buys cars and here’s a little on how that works:
A private seller, in this case we’ll use the name John, has a car to sell. He contacts Carspring as he want to sell his car in a quick and hassle free way, they subsequently dispatch a qualified mechanic who’s job it is to ensure the car is in tip top condition. Following on from this the car is listed for sale on their website amongest all their other sytock and if it doesn’t sell within 30 days, Carspring buys the car direct from John and continues to retail it until sold. Ultimately, John gets a guaranteed sale within 30 days, but as with everything these days, terms and conditions will apply.
All things considered, Carspring have a rather unique operating model and given our obsession with online shopping and the monumental rise of ecommerce, it has been a completely natural progression for the used car retailing sector. Furthermore, the fact that Carspring sell around 200 cars per month is a clear indicator of their success.
Looking at the sector as a whole it almost appears to remain in some kind of a time warp, being dinosaurian in nature it operates a model that’s remained pretty much the same for many decades and therefore paves the way for venture capitalist backed start ups such as Carspring to make easy entry with USPs that many traditional used car retailers are yet to fully understand.
All things considered, would I use Carspring myself? Absolutely and if you are after a new car with an arm chair service that simply eliminates the need to visit a dealership, then you should too.
For more information on Carspring or if you are in the market to buy or sell a car and fancy experiencing their disruptive model for yourself, click here.