VR-like 360-degree viewing comes to the used-car market with Beepi

beepi online used cars nationwide leasing car virtual reality bmw 3281 example 1000x667
If you’re a web-based tire-kicker, either because you’re really in the market for a new ride or you just like looking around, your online options just got richer. Used car marketplace Beepi  just added a virtual-reality feature that makes internet car shopping a whole lot more immersive. With VR-like, 360-degree scrollable views inside and out, checking out a Beepi listing is almost but not quite like being there IRL.

Beepi doesn’t maintain its own inventory of vehicles, but instead acts as a go-between or marketplace. Unlike Craigslist, however, sellers can’t list just any old clunker on Beepi. The service generally limits the cars it lists to a max six years old and no more than 60,000 miles. And in order for your car to be accepted for listing, it has to pass a 240-point inspection.

Beepi will send a specially trained inspector to check out the car at your office or home. The same inspector also takes all the pictures for the still images and the new 360-degree interactive views. Beepi told us it takes two to three months to train their inspectors on all parts of the process and typically about two hours for each inspection/photo session.

Related: In the future, buying a car involves no pressure, no lies, no leisure suits

For every three prospective sellers who inquire about listing vehicles, two cars end up being inspected, and only one makes the final cut. So apparently the company screens the cars pretty thoroughly. Part of the Beepi service for owners is a guaranteed sales price. If no one buys your car in 30 days, Beepi will buy it for the agreed-upon price. All the seller has to do is accept a check and turn over the keys.

On the buyer side, Beepi delivers the car tied in a big bow (really — and you get to choose the color). Also, all required state vehicle registration and documentation is done for you, saving that huge hassle. You do a quick test drive to be sure you’re satisfied, and if all’s good, you complete any necessary paperwork and get the keys. At that point, you begin a 10-day test drive — if you’re not happy you can reverse the whole purchase and get your money back. Beepi also provides a full three-month, 3,000-mile warranty in addition to any remaining manufacturer’s warranty.

You can’t actually physically kick the tires with Beepi’s Walkaround feature, but you can move around a horizontal plane with high-resolution imagery. We’d like to be able to zoom in but you can’t yet: A Beepi spokesperson told Digital Trends that’s a “next-on-the-list” feature. In the vehicle report section, in addition to an AutoCheck vehicle history, there’s a ding-and-dimple chart with a description and closeup photo for each.

The Get Inside feature lets you experience the car’s interior by scrolling in all directions. For the inside view, Beepi stitches together two 360-degree images. We saw a Beepi smartphone app demonstration showing the interior of a 2113 Mini Cooper. When we mentioned to Beepi that it would be great to be able to click to start the engine and hear a recording of the sound, a company representative told us they are already working on what they call a Virtual Engine that will let prospective buyers hear the engine start and run.

Right now Beepi is available in the most of the U.S. West and Southwest, some parts of the Northeast, and two cities in Florida. (Here’s a chart with exact coverage.) Beepi hinted that buyer-side service may be available in more areas in the near future. Beepi’s plan is to continue to add immersive and interactive features to its used-car virtual-reality showroom. For now, all you have to do is decide whether you want the BMW or the Mini.

Cars

The 2020 Hyundai Venue argues small and affordable doesn’t mean basic

Hyundai unveiled the 2020 Venue at the 2019 New York Auto Show. It's a city-friendly car that stands out as the smallest and most affordable member of the company's crossover and SUV lineup. Small doesn't mean basic, however.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Cars

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.
Cars

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!
Cars

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Cars

Apple’s interest in self-driving cars reported to be revving up

A new report suggests that Apple is in talks with a number of suppliers to purchase lidar sensors, an essential tool for self-driving cars. The news is once again spiking rumors that Apple might be building vehicles.
Cars

Café racer-inspired ebike hits 28 mph quickly and quietly with carbon belt drive

Ebike manufacturer Electra launched the Café Moto Go, an advanced ebike. The Café Moto Go's step-over frame was inspired by café racers. The Café Moto Go is a premium performance ebike built to run smoothly and extra quietly.
Cars

Where to go when your EV is low: Rich neighborhoods have most charging stations

If you're running low on juice in your electric vehicle, head for the rich part of town. A survey by Realtor.com found median home list prices in the 20 U.S. ZIP codes with the most EV charging stations were 2.6 times the national average.