Can You Buy a New Car Online From Amazon?
You can get many different things from Amazon. Whether it’s electronics, clothing, food, cleaning products, or medical equipment, items can be ordered and then conveniently delivered to your home. But what about cars? Can you order and buy a new car online from Amazon?
New cars can’t be directly ordered on Amazon — due to archaic dealership laws
People these days love the convenience of shopping online. One doesn’t have to deal with the hassle of driving to a store to purchase an item. They can just go on a computer or smartphone, click on the item they want, and get it shipped to them — often within a couple of days.
Does this convenience translate to car shopping? Can someone go on Amazon and order and buy a new car? Unfortunately, primarily due to archaic and protectionist dealership laws in the United States, one-click vehicle shopping is not available on Amazon. Most states have decades-long laws in place that force people to go through a dealership if they want to purchase a new car.
That being said, the pandemic has significantly changed the car-shopping experience. In the past, visiting a dealership in person was typically the only option for new vehicles. However, the pandemic forced automakers and dealerships to adapt. This resulted in customers being able to build and pre-order a car on the OEM sites. However, because of regulations, the purchase and final paperwork are still done through a dealer.
There are exceptions, such as EV automakers Tesla and Rivian, which don’t have a traditional dealership business model. They get around the laws via local “retail centers.” However, for ordering and purchasing a new car, Amazon is not an option.
Other countries offer direct online shopping for new cars — including the Chinese Alibaba site
This archaic method of new car shopping through a dealer differs greatly from other countries that don’t have these strict dealership laws, such as China. Alibaba, a Chinese online retailer similar to Amazon, offers a plethora of new cars — including inexpensive ones. Some Americans even order cars from Alibaba.
However, the delivery times from China to the U.S. are very long, the shipping costs are high, and there are often hassles with customs. There are quality concerns as well.
Amazon has a Vehicle Showroom section for research
While automotive shoppers can’t directly order a new car from Amazon, the online retailer has a Vehicle Showroom section. The Vehicle Showroom section is where customers can research various cars. There are photos, videos, details on features and specs, and other content which help inform automotive shoppers about specific models.
For the Vehicle Showroom section, Amazon has partnerships with multiple automakers. This includes Hyundai, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, Volvo, and Mitsubishi. The automaker with the most substantial presence on the site is Hyundai. There’s a Hyundai Evolve page where customers can schedule a test drive.
What about Rivian?
It’s interesting to note that Rivian doesn’t have a Vehicle Showroom page on Amazon. In addition to its minority ownership stake in Rivian, Amazon is the EV automaker’s largest customer. Rivian has a contract with the online retailer to build thousands of electric Prime delivery vans. But for ordering an electric R1T truck or R1S SUV, customers can only do it through Rivian.
While new cars can’t be ordered from Amazon, there are many vehicle parts and accessories available for sale. From the Amazon Automotive section, one can order such things as tires, wheels, engine components, brakes, mufflers, tools, paint, oil, windshield wipers, and car care products.
We’ll have to see what the future of new car shopping holds for Amazon and other online retailers and sites, such as Facebook Marketplace. More people realizing the convenience of online shopping could catalyze change in the U.S. It could go from the protectionist dealership laws and archaic vehicle shopping experience — to greater accessibility through online retailers.