Shopping for a new car? Wouldn't it be great to just scan your card and be gone?
If you hate waiting in checkout lines in grocery stores and always use self-checkout lanes when they’re available, you’ll appreciate the “Fast Lane” checkout at the Imperial Car Supermarket in Northampton, U.K.
You’ll still interface with humans while you select your car and fill out legal paperwork, reports the International Business Times. Once the forms are signed, however, you won’t have to talk with a finance manager, where a lot of up-selling often takes place. You don’t go to a cashier to finalize your purchase, either. Just drive to a Fast Lane terminal, enter your identification, move the car over a scanning system built into the floor so it can read a code underneath the vehicle, and then pay by credit or debit card and drive away.
The Imperial Fast Lane is only applicable if you aren’t financing your car and is good for purchases up to 50,000 pounds (about $62,000). That leaves this option out if you’re considering buying a diamond painted Rolls-Royce, but it will suit most cash buyers.
According to Imperial Car Supermarket operations director Neil Smith, “We’re always looking for new ways to make the experience of buying a car with us as convenient and enjoyable as possible. Self-service checkouts have been around at supermarkets for years, so now we’re all comfortable using them — minus the odd ‘unexpected-item-in-bagging-area’ fiasco.”
With all the changes coming in the next 5 to 15 years in the automotive world, including autonomous and zero-emissions vehicles, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) factors, ridesharing, and car sharing, and a rise in internet-based car sales of both used and new vehicles, traditional car dealerships have to put on a new face to continue to attract buyers, especially younger generations.
Carvana’s car vending machines are another response to the need for dealership change. Buyers use over-sized tokens to put in an automated multi-story, jewel-box, car dispensing building to actually take delivery of their car purchases. Prior to popping the token in the “vending machine,” however, the buying process is unchanged with the Carvana model.
The Imperial Car Supermarket model is similar to Carvana in that you still talk with real people on the front end, but there’s no lit-up vending machine building — just swipe your card and drive away.