A Less Significant Transaction
The automobile was long considered the second largest expense a typical family would make, second only to the purchase of their home. For many, it follows that this is decision is too big to make online. Let’s start with the cost. For many people, monthly healthcare costs are greater than their car payment or lease. That didn’t used to be the case, but it frequently is now. Yet families frequently make these decisions at home with little or no in-person guidance. The decision of how much to place in a 401K and where to place it is often bigger than a vehicle purchase. My own monthly 401K contribution outweighs the largest car payment I ever made several times over. Yet families frequently make these decisions at home with little or no in-person guidance. The decision about what college to go to is the first truly huge decision many people make. The difference in cost over 4 years may exceed all the money spent on vehicles between the time they start college and the time they finally pay off their student loans. While most students visit one or more colleges before making a decision, they often make those decisions at home with no little or no in-person, professional guidance. For many families, and especially those who buy new and late-model used vehicles, the vehicle purchase is not as significant as healthcare, retirement, or education. Today’s consumer understands far better what they are getting into with a vehicle purchase than these other decisions they so often make from home. Even if it never becomes the dominant method of purchase, in-home vehicle transactions will become common. The consumer’s life has already shifted in this direction, and that’s a fact.