Touchless car sales have become more popular over the past few years, especially amid pandemic restrictions. Car dealerships and used car owners alike are stepping up to the demands of the times by adapting their businesses to focus on more touchless, online-based transactions.
Essentially, touchless car sales happen mostly online. Everything can now be done through touchless sales, from browsing through the selection of available cars, test drives and negotiating, to payments and signing documents. Contracts can also be signed remotely with the help of secure e-signature service providers like Countersign.
Despite cars being a big purchase, the influx of buyers continues to pour into car dealership websites. This is perhaps because there are many good deals right now, with a lot of dealerships and used car owners looking to restart their businesses or keep them afloat by liquidating some assets.
Can car sale transactions really be touchless?
A study done by Cox Automotive shows that buyer satisfaction even reached an all-time high in 2020, during which most car dealerships were forced to go digital. Numbers show that buyer satisfaction ratings increased by 71% to 74% among used car buyers and new car buyers, respectively. This corresponds to a shorter purchase process, too, facilitated by digital solutions. As a result, 64% of buyers expressed that they want more purchases to happen online moving forward.
So to the question of a touchless car sale process, the answer is yes, it’s entirely possible. Businesses looking to adopt touchless car sales often opt to:
- Do as many touchless transactions as possible
- Conduct online walk-throughs and car tours
- Maximize email, text messaging, phone calls and online meeting platforms like Zoom and Google Meets
- Use e-signature service platforms like Countersign for much of the paperwork
- Have a separate tent or table at the dealership for documents that need wet signatures
Getting Contracts Signed Remotely
One of the challenges of remote selling involves signing legal documents. E-signatures are a great alternative to traditional signatures. However, dealers must be careful in choosing e-signature tools due to the nature of auto transactions, which typically involve financing arrangements.
Dealers should opt for tools that are secure, stable, and legally binding. Legitimate e-signature service providers typically have the following features:
- Audit Trail: An audit trail is a permanent record of everyone who accessed and altered the document. This record is tamper-proof and cannot be forged. It makes documents admissible in legal proceedings.
- Identity Confirmation: Secure e-signature platforms validate a signer’s identity prior to signing by asking for a scanned ID copy, email confirmation, or a combination of personal details which can be stored, confirmed, and linked back to the signer as needed.
- Cloud Backup: Documents sent and signed via secure e-signature services are stored in highly secure cloud storage. This makes documents signed electronically even more secure than physical ones due to the high level of security against forgery.
- Security and Encryption: Legitimate e-signature tools must run on a secure infrastructure. This means that your network connection and documents are fully encrypted. Data centers are also physically secure and can safeguard backup documents in the event of fires, floods, or earthquakes.
If you want to learn more about industries that have shifted to electronic documents and e-signings, read through Countersign’s blog. Learn why professionals who work with highly confidential financial data, like insurance brokers, trust Countersign.
Touchless Car Sale Process Checklist
If you’re a car dealership looking to digitize your selling process, here are a few points to consider:
1. Set up a way to conduct a virtual walk-through of each car
Find a way to showcase cars and their features to interested buyers effectively. You can do this via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or even Facebook Messenger. They should be able to see the car clearly and ask questions freely so you can address them on the spot.
2. Decide on a test drive system for your dealership
Some car dealerships offer to deliver test drive units to buyers’ homes. You can also opt to do a minimal-contact test drive by having customers visit the dealership parking lot. There, they can test drive a sanitized, fully prepared car when they arrive.
3. Find a secure platform to walk buyers through the paperwork process
Once a customer has chosen a car, make sure to walk them through the paperwork through a video meeting. Find a secure platform like Zoom, MS Teams, GoToMeeting, or Skype for Business.
4. Compile a checklist of all documents and requirements for buyers’ review and have them accessible online
Ensure that everything is in place by compiling all documents and requirements needed to facilitate a smooth sale. Purchase extra Google Drive or DropBox storage if needed so you can house documents and other forms. For documents that need to be signed in every transaction, online e-signature solutions offer a template system, where you can set up your forms one time and resend them to new prospects within seconds.
5. Find a secure e-signature service provider where your clients can confidently sign paperwork
We’ve discussed the hazards of e-signature tools that aren’t secure or encrypted. Make sure to find a tool that provides an optimally secure signing environment for you and all your buyers.
6. For documents that must be signed in person, have a separate outdoor tent and dedicated table where your clients can sign safely
For documents that need to be signed physically, make sure to provide a safe and sanitized environment where your buyers can sign. Offer them clean pens which they can take home and a socially distanced area for everyone’s safety.
This is as good a time as any to start building a touchless car sale process. Whether you’re a car dealership or a used car owner, touchless sales can breathe new life into your business by meeting clients where they are and providing all the safety and registration requirements they need.