Thinking of buying a new car? Consider doing it from your smartphone

roadster buy car from smartphone screen shot 2016 08 21 at 11 26 41 am
Looking to avoid car salesmen at all costs? You might consider turning to your smartphone instead. At least, that appears to be the modus operandi for a surprising proportion of respondents in a recent study by Roadster, a company that specializes in — you guessed it — buying or leasing cars online.

In a poll of 1,185 consumers, Roadster found that a full third of participants said they would be just as willing to buy a car on their smartphone as they would, say, a new bag of cat food or a pair of shoes. Apparently, whether it’s $20 or $20,000, consumers are turning increasingly to their mobile devices to complete their transactions.

The reason behind this willingness, the study suggests, comes from our general distaste of haggling over prices at dealerships, and the belief that buying online is almost always cheaper than buying in person. In fact, 43 percent of respondents believed they’d save $2,000 or more by making a digital purchase, and 31 percent noted that they’d save up to four hours of their valuable time by avoiding an in-person deal.

That said, one thing you can’t do via your smartphone or the web is test drive a car. And that’s still important to buyers, with 86 percent of respondents noting that they’d want to take a potential new vehicle out for a spin before making a commitment.

Interestingly enough, participants’ opinions didn’t appear to vary based on geography, with those living in tech hubs like San Francisco just as willing to buy via their smartphone as those outside Silicon Valley, Alley, or Forest. That said, income did play a part in responses — those households making $150,000 or more were more open to the smartphone route than their less affluent counterparts.

“It is clear from our survey that consumers are open to new ways of shopping for big ticket items,” said Roadster CEO Andy Moss. “We have incorporated some of the most cutting edge e-commerce technology into car shopping to make car buying as easy as buying anything else online.”

Product Review

'Marvel's Spider-Man' slings and swings its way to the top of the superhero heap

Insomniac's entry into the superhero genre has a big suit to fill, but ‘Marvel's Spider-Man’ is a phenomenal action game, a strong Spider-Man story, and an open-world game that has plenty to do without getting boring.
Home Theater

OLED or LED? We pick the winner in the battle of competing TV tech

The acronyms OLED and LED sound and look very similar, but the two technologies are vastly different in terms of engineering, performance, and capabilities. Which technology wins when you pit OLED versus LED in a TV?
Computing

Google denies claim that it’s tracking internet users when incognito mode is on

Google is denying claims leveled against it by rival privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo. The rival alleged that even when incognito mode is on, Google is tracking users in order to deliver personalized search results.
Mobile

The best weather apps for the iPhone

Don't rely solely on your local meteorologist to stay up to date on the weather. Take matters into your own hands with one of these weather apps, each of which brings something unique to the table.
Web

Google’s updated Santa Tracker entertains and teaches coding throughout December

Google's Santa Tracker is in its fifteenth year and is back again with even more features. You can have fun with more than 20 games, learn about different holiday traditions around the world, and enjoy some festive animations.
Wearables

The $200 TicWatch C2 smartwatch is now being sold in the U.S. and U.K.

Digital well-being and disconnecting from your phone is one of 2018's big trends. Mobvoi wants you to think about its TicWatch C2 smartwatch as a great way to help you use your phone less.
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and is now available in the U.S. and U.K.

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. The Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon for $350.
Mobile

Yes, we really are getting a special McLaren edition of the OnePlus 6T

OnePlus has announced a partnership with McLaren F1, emphasizing a shared interest in speed. The phone company is known for producing special edition devices. Here's what we know about the OnePlus 6T Mclaren Edition.
Deals

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.
Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.