You can find a wide variety of products on Amazon, ranging from electronics and clothing to food and medical equipment. But what about cars? Is it possible to order and buy a brand-new car on Amazon?
New Cars Cannot Be Directly Ordered on Amazon — Due to Outdated Dealership Laws
Image Source: Vehicle Showrooms | Amazon
In today’s era of online shopping convenience, the hassle of driving to a store has become a thing of the past. With just a few clicks on a computer or smartphone, items can be ordered and conveniently delivered within a couple of days. But does this convenience extend to car shopping? Can you simply go on Amazon, select a new car, and have it delivered to your doorstep? Unfortunately, due to archaic dealership laws and protectionist regulations in the United States, the one-click vehicle shopping experience is not available on Amazon. Decades-old laws in most states require people to go through a dealership to purchase a brand-new car.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed the car-shopping landscape. In the past, visiting a dealership in person was the typical route for purchasing new vehicles. However, automakers and dealerships have had to adapt to the circumstances, allowing customers to build and pre-order cars on original equipment manufacturer (OEM) websites. Nevertheless, the actual purchase and final paperwork processes still require involvement from a dealer.
There are exceptions to this rule, such as electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers like Tesla and Rivian, who operate outside the traditional dealership business model. They manage to navigate around the existing laws through the use of local “retail centers.” However, when it comes to ordering and buying a brand-new car, Amazon is not an available option.
Other Countries Offer Direct Online Shopping for New Cars — Including the Chinese Alibaba Site
This outdated method of new car shopping through dealerships stands in stark contrast to other countries that don’t have such stringent dealership laws. One example is China, where Alibaba, a Chinese online retailer similar to Amazon, offers a wide range of new cars, including affordable options. Some Americans even go as far as ordering cars from Alibaba. However, the delivery times from China to the U.S. are often lengthy, shipping costs can be high, and there may be complications with customs. Quality concerns may also arise.
Amazon Provides a Vehicle Showroom Section for Research Purposes
Image Source: Hyundai Evolve | Amazon
Although you cannot directly order a new car from Amazon, the online retailer offers a Vehicle Showroom section. This section allows customers to conduct research on various car models. It provides photos, videos, details on features and specifications, and other informative content to assist automotive shoppers in making informed decisions.
Amazon has established partnerships with multiple automakers for their Vehicle Showroom section. These partnerships include well-known brands like Hyundai, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, Volvo, and Mitsubishi. Among them, Hyundai has the most extensive presence on the site. In fact, there is a dedicated Hyundai Evolve page where customers can even schedule a test drive.
What About Rivian?
It’s interesting to note that Rivian, despite its minority ownership stake by Amazon, does not have a Vehicle Showroom page on the platform. Amazon is, in fact, Rivian’s largest customer, having entered into a contract to manufacture thousands of electric Prime delivery vans. However, for customers interested in purchasing an electric R1T truck or R1S SUV from Rivian, the only option is to do so directly through the company.
While you can’t order new cars from Amazon, there is an array of vehicle parts and accessories available for sale on the platform. The Amazon Automotive section offers options such as tires, wheels, engine components, brakes, mufflers, tools, paint, oil, windshield wipers, and various car care products.
We can only anticipate what the future of new car shopping holds for Amazon and other online retailers and platforms like Facebook Marketplace. As more people recognize the convenience of online shopping, it could spark changes in the United States. The current protectionist dealership laws and outdated vehicle shopping experiences might shift toward greater accessibility through online retailers.