CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
In its effort to support dealerships and consumers during COVID-19, automotive marketplace CarGurus is implementing new digital safety and convenience features such as allowing shoppers to schedule a virtual vehicle walkaround with a dealership.
CarGurus subscribing dealers in the United States, U.K., and Canada now have new methods to inform in-market shoppers about how they can safely communicate and connect regarding the vehicles they are interested in purchasing.
The company notes that as shoppers follow their local regulations for conducting retail activity, CarGurus’ new search features will help people shop for a vehicle safely.
Subscribing dealerships can apply the new search filter and vehicle description features to their inventory on CarGurus.com.
In a written response to questions from Auto Remarketing, CarGurus chief product officer Tom Caputo said CarGurus put a “highly visible, easily discoverable,” Contactless Shopping filter on the CarGurus.com search results page, which he said allows shoppers to quickly identify dealers that offer any of the following contactless shopping capabilities:
— Social distancing appointments: Dealers can schedule appointments with shoppers to visit their dealerships, and confirm specific timing to ensure social distancing
— Virtual appointments: Shoppers can schedule a virtual meeting with a dealership to conduct a virtual walk-around of the vehicle
— Contactless purchase: Shoppers can pay for or finance a vehicle remotely by phone or email. CarGurus will deliver any paperwork to them.
Free home test drive — CarGurus can bring vehicles to a shopper’s residence. The shopper can safely test drive the vehicle, with no commitment to purchase. That service would take place up to a 25-mile radius for the United States and U.K., or approximately a 50-kilometer radius in Canada.
Free home drop off – Also for up to a 25-mile radius for the United States and U.K. or approximately a 50-kilometer radius in Canada, a dealer will deliver a vehicle and any paperwork to shoppers who commit to purchasing the vehicle.
In his written responses to questions from Auto Remarketing, Caputo said CarGurus’ dealer partners offer virtual appointments to their customers so the shopper can receive a video tour of a vehicle while also practicing social distancing guidelines.
If a dealership is offering that type of interactive virtual appointment to its customers, CarGurus wanted to ensure they could communicate it through the CarGurus platform and make sure that shoppers can find that dealer, Caputo said.
“And for clarity, CarGurus is not providing the technology or the logistics behind any of these contactless offerings,” Caputo said. “We are enabling dealerships to communicate what they are already providing to their customers.”
In a news release, Caputo also said, “At our core, CarGurus is a trusted partner for shoppers and dealers alike and that remains true as we all navigate this new COVID-19 environment.”
Caputo continued, “For those shoppers who are looking to buy a vehicle and for those dealerships that are able to remain open, we are here for all of you, and we are working to provide the tools and information for a safe, contactless purchase.”
CarGurus also provided the following links as resources for dealers interested in learning more about its contactless features for COVID-19: