Buying a car via Carpal vs dealer! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Buying a car via Carpal vs dealer!

Would you buy from a 3rd party like trycarpal instead of buying from a dealer?

Car purchase has been predominantly a physical activity. You would do some research online, shortlist but final decision is taken after visiting multiple car showrooms, get some details about the cars, get a quote, take a test drive, book, wait and take delivery. However there have been efforts to digitize this process. Most manufacturers let you book on their official website, decide accessories and only the final delivery is handled by local dealer. Now some portals are aiming to take the entire process away from dealers.

When you go to a dealer, these are the typical disadvantages

  • Dealers need to sell what they have. So they will never advocate a competition model even if that is better suited for your needs
  • Dealers have to clear their stock- so they may push for a variant/colour they have in stock than one that you prefer
  • Dealers need to sell now. They will never advise “why not wait for 2 months, there is a facelift coming"
  • Dealers don’t want to lose your business, so they lie. If a dealer says “it will take a minimum 6 months to deliver” you will not book and walk away. So they lie saying “waiting period is max 1 month” and then find excuses to keep delaying delivery date, hoping that as you’ve already waited for 1-2 months you will wait few more months
  • 5 Dealers try to sell extra stuff: Dealers get more margin selling insurance, accessories etc, so they try to force these on you without giving you better options

CarPal is a new age company trying to change the way vehicles are purchased. They have their unique value proposition in the automobile industry and might help you overcome above listed dealer level limitations

  • They are not bound to one manufacturer so might advise an alternate model from another brand where suitable
  • Because they have an open inventory model and work with multiple OEMs and dealers, you may get a model, variant, colour of your choice faster

CarPal advantages:
1. Unbiased Expert inputs. A car dealer always tries to sell what he has and discourages you from buying from competition. CarPal guys can understand your needs and suggest best matches from across the board of multiple car makers.

2. Less running around and home delivery. CarPal doesn't need you to physically visit a showroom or run around for documents. They will handle the process- just pay them and wait till the car arrives.

3. More celebration on delivery- CarPal guys make a much grander delivery at your home compared to a simpler large key handover photo shop at the showroom. Your neighbors can notice that you are getting a new car.

When I first heard about CarPal and tried to understand how they operate, I had a few questions
1. Do I face any risk if I bypass the dealer?
While carpal helps with purchase, they don't have any service center. We will have to rely on traditional dealer for all issues, service, accessories and so on. If we buy online bypassing the dealer, would there be any repercussions? Would dealer try some tricks to extract more money from us when we go for service as he couldn't get a penny from car purchase?

Answer: Cost of free services is included in ex-showroom price and dealers will be compensated accordingly. There is no reason why dealer would give step-motherly treatment for cars bought via carpal.

2. How exactly can CarPal deliver faster than conventional dealer? Is it once in a while scenario (only small percentage of bookings get lucky and get delivered faster, promoted well on social media? or almost all deliveries are faster?)

Answer: Carpal follows an open inventory model. They have a network of dealers across multiple states and it is often possible that the model in demand is available readily with some dealer somewhere in nearby state, which CarPal can procure and arrange a delivery locally. If you are little flexible and if you get lucky, you may get your car faster this way, than booking with dealer/OEM and waiting for your turn.

At times CarPal also claims their pricing is cheaper than what dealer quotes. Haven't explored this in detail. Could be possible by avoiding expensive insurance, unwanted accessories etc. Not sure if CarPal gets any special concession from OEMs compared to what they give to their dealer network.

CarPal has a consultancy service where you can pay 500 INR and take their expert advise. This amount will be refunded if you book a car through them.

Thanks to Vignesh Ramakrishna for providing some clarity on CarPal's process.

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