A car is no more a luxury. It is now a need. To satisfy this need, across the social strata, the auto industry has enough variants, in a range of price points to match the spending capacity of the buyers. In India, the sales of passenger vehicles increased by 16.7 percent to 2,58,000 units in August 2016. Leading automaker Maruti Suzuki expects Indian passenger car market to reach four million units by 2020, up from 1.97 million units in 2014-15. Naturally, this projected potential is being tapped by startups to create a revolution in the industry by redefining the traditional processes of buying a car. Here are five prominent startups helping customers buy a car without leaving the comfort of their homes.
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CarDekho.com, launched in 2008, is one of India's leading platforms for buying and selling cars. It helps buyers with rich automotive content – expert reviews, detailed specs and prices, comparisons, videos, and pictures – to guide them to get the car that's right for them. Cardekho.com has tie-ups with many auto manufacturers, more than 4000 car dealers and numerous financial institutions to facilitate the purchase of vehicles.
CarDekho.com offers innovative features to ensure that users get an immersive experience of the car model. There's no need to visit the showroom at all. Some of the features include the ‘Feel The Car Tool’ that gives 360-degree interior/exterior views with sounds of the car and explanations of features with videos, search and comparison by make, model, price, features, and live offers and promotions in all cities.
“We feel very passionate about using a marketplace platform approach, technology tools and data sciences to build trust, pricing and selection advantages for the buyers and creating a simple, low transaction cost, and scalable platform for sellers,” says Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Droom.
The team boasts of having over 75 years of combined experience in technology, internet, e-commerce and FMCG, including 35 years in Silicon Valley alone. Droom is funded by some of the leading global venture investors and the company is based out of Gurgaon, India.
Cartrade.com, launched in 2010, provides consumers a structured platform for transacting in new and used vehicles. Some of the unique features of the platform are transparent price information, a wide range of certified used cars, on road dealer prices, and expert reviews.
“Given the variety of models and brands available, you might have to go to 20 dealers to figure out the car of your choice. If you tell us your brand preference and the budget and location, the portal can tell you what cars are available with which dealer. We have the largest inventory with 90,000 cars and 2000 dealers registered with us. Second, when you buy a used car you would want to know its condition. We have engineers in different cities of the country who assess the cars and give a condition report. So you get to choose a car that is certified by us. Third, you would want to know whether the price quoted by the dealer is fine or not. Here again we help by providing an approximate justified price you should be paying for the car,” said Vinay Sanghi, Founder and CEO of CarTrade.com, in an interview with DNA.
With more than 2.5 million used cars sold per year through CarTrade.com, which is expected to double in about five years from now, the company has made it to Forbes' top 10 list of sharply focused e-commerce players in India.
Spinny claims to ease the process of buying cars by focussing on making the entire process transparent. The website's features also help reduce the time taken to zero in on the right car. All cars purchased through Spinny come with a detailed inspection report which highlights everything the buyer needs to know.
If you desire something out of the usual when it comes to cars, that is, if you are a collector of classic car models, then hemmings.com is the place for you. Started in 1954 as a news publication for collector's car enthusiasts, today the company helps those with an eye for speciality cars. At Hemmings.com, you can find everything from a '95 Geo Metro to a 60s Chevy Impala or even a Studebaker from the '30s, with the ease of modern technology. The website additionally offers tools for locating specific parts or services. For the classic car enthusiast, Hemmings.com is an excellent resource for car classifieds, complete with supplementary buying tips and links to upcoming local auctions.
The age of startups is offering consumers the option to buy everything, from grocery to gold bars, online. But if everything can be bought online, without leaving the comfort of your home, what's the use of a car (which, again, was bought online) one wonders.