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Driveway Review

Wednesday, August 17th

2022 New Car Buying Site Reviews

Driveway Review 2 Star Rating

Driveway

2 Star Rating
  • Over 9,500 new cars to choose from
  • No-haggle pricing
  • 7-day/400-mile return policy
  • All manufacturer warranties apply
  • $500 refundable deposit to secure a vehicle

Driveway is one of the most recent buy-from-home options for getting a new car. While this platform definitely specializes in selling used cars - over 25,000 pre-owned vehicles nationwide vs. just over 9,500 in the new category at the time of this review - you can still find enough to choose from.

Helpful filters for narrowing down the options

To begin the process of finding your new car, enter the make, model, and year in the boxes on the right-hand side of the page. From there, you'll be taken to a screen that gives you an impressive amount of information, from pricing to safety and more, along with basic stats like MPG and MSRP. To get pricing, click on the red button that says "Get a Dealer Quote" and enter your ZIP code.

Very detailed info on each new car

Driveway makes it really easy to see practically every single detail about each vehicle: from dozens of photos and the VIN to features and financing calculators, you'll find what you need to make a decision.

Convenience galore

There are a lot of features on Driveway that are pretty compelling. Want to add a trade-in to your new vehicle purchase? No problem: you'll find that option on each new car listing, and Driveway will even arrange for it to be picked up from your home. Hoping to take advantage of rebates and incentives? Most of those will be included automatically in the pricing, and other options may show up during the checkout process (military and first responder discounts, and so on); you can also pop open a chat on the Driveway site and ask a rep what offers might be available to you. And yes, your car will be brought right to you - but not usually for free. On each vehicle listing, you'll clearly see where it's located and the shipping cost: as an example, to ship a brand-new Chevy Silverado from Pennsylvania to Florida, you'd pay $699 (at the time of this evaluation).

Best New Car Sites

Refundable deposit of $500

Cars don't stay on the market long these days, and if you see a Driveway car you want, it'd be a good idea to jump on it quickly. Any vehicle they sell comes with a $500 refundable deposit to hold it for you: you'll pay it by credit card, but it'll be credited towards your purchase price if you wind up buying it. Otherwise, it'll be refunded - if you either cancel the order or you get approved for a loan with $0 down. One small detail to be aware of: putting down a deposit doesn't guarantee availability, and another buyer could "steal" it from you up until the point that you actually finalize the purchase.

Decent return policy

When you buy a new car here, it comes with all of the manufacturer warranties you'd get anywhere else (drivetrain, bumper-to-bumper). Driveway adds a 7-day, 400-mile return policy, so you're not stuck with something that you've bought online that doesn't live up to your expectations in real life.

Horrible customer service

It all sounds pretty great so far, right? We thought so too, until we started looking at buyer feedback. Because Driveway is newer within the industry, there isn't as much of it to consider - but what's out there is almost always negative. The BBB gives the company an "F" rating for failing to respond to eight complaints filed there. On its own, that wouldn't be so bad, but reading through customer reviews elsewhere revealed the same issue: a total lack of help from Driveway support reps. And, when many of those complaints say that Driveway failed to deliver the necessary paperwork to get cars legally registered - months after the purchase date - we can't get behind a company that would deliver a brand-new vehicle and then make it illegal to drive - not for a few days or even weeks but for months at a time. That's just unacceptable.

Fails to deliver when it counts

Yes, Driveway can bring a new car right to your doorstep - but these days, so can most local car dealerships. What this company offers in convenience is greatly overshadowed by where they fall short: who wants a new car that doesn't come with all of the paperwork in hand? Driveway has a long way to go before moving up in our rankings. We recommend buying your new car through a different service.

What’s the Best Way to Buy a New Car?

Gone are the days of heading blindly over to the nearest dealership, hoping to find something you'll like and being largely at the mercy of the salesperson who greets you at the door. Now, most people do extensive research online before ever setting foot on the lot - and that's assuming they're not having the vehicle delivered directly to their home, sight unseen. Today's new car-buying experience is vastly different from what it was even ten years ago.

So, what are the ways you can put online car-buying platforms to good use? Your first step is to gather information. What makes and models do you prefer? Which cars have a stellar track record for quality and safety? How much should you expect to spend to get your must-have features? The best sites will give you all of that knowledge and then some.

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New Car Buying Site FAQ

Just like any other product you can buy online, you'll find a much bigger selection on the internet than if you try to go store-to-store, or in this case dealership-to-dealership. Other reasons to shop for a car online are to save time, avoid the haggling and negotiations of salesmen (sorry, not sorry), minimize the pressure to buy, and do everything at your own convenience. Buying new vehicles online is more popular than ever before and companies are jumping on board with making it as easy as possible for customers.
Make sure the company you're buying from has a good Better Business Bureau rating, high customer reviews, and is a service you've heard of before. It may help to call in and talk to their customer service team to get information about their processes as well. Beware of prices that seem "too good to be true" , try to buy as locally as possible, and trust your gut. Do research online about the car company you're interested in buying from and you should get enough information to make an educated decision.
When you're buying from a dealership that sells new cars, they are going to have salesmen and customer service experts on standby to talk whenever you need. All it takes is a quick phone call and you can go over details about the vehicle you're interested in. They may be able to walk you through the buying process online if you run into some hiccups and want to make sure you're doing everything correctly. When it comes to making a big purchase like a car, don't hesitate to reach out to the seller to talk things through!
Technically there are instances where you'll be able to return a new car to a dealership, but we don't recommend it. Make absolutely sure you're happy with the car you purchase online because dealerships either won't take the car back, or they'll charge a few thousand dollars in return fees. Either way, you'll be out a lot of money! This is also the case for buying a vehicle in person. Cars are not something you can easily send back!
One obvious reason to buy a new car is because it will be more reliable than a used one. You never know exactly how a used car was treated or if it's bound to start having issues. New cars come with factory warranties that cover the cost of labor and repairs if you run into a problem in the first couple years of owning it. New cars have hardly any mileage on them, so they will last a lot longer for you than a used car would. They will have new oil, factory-fresh tires and brakes, the latest technology, and you can buy them in any make, model, or color you want.
One of the perks of getting a brand-new car is that it already comes with a warranty. Usually, it's something like 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. This covers parts and labor costs for normal usage. The exact warranty may differ slightly between makes and models of cars and the company you're buying from. You'll have the option of purchasing an extended warranty which would cover bumper-to-bumper issues for a period of time after the manufacturer's warranty is past. Some people choose to do this for peace of mind.
The first thing you should do when buying a new car online is to set a budget. You'll find so many beautiful makes and models with seemingly endless options for upgrades, so you want to know how much you can spend (or how big of a loan you can qualify for) before you even start looking. Do research on the car you're interested in to see if it gets good gas mileage, what other customers have said about its reliability, check crash test ratings, and what type of warranty it comes with. You might consider test driving some vehicles before pulling the trigger on purchasing it online. Take your time comparing vehicles online since you won't have the pressure or time constraints of looking around at the dealership.
Most dealers will deliver the car you purchased right to your house. How convenient is that? It will feel like Christmas morning when that shiny, new, fresh vehicle gets dropped off. If you buy from a dealer that's close by, you might be able to avoid some shipping costs or fees by picking it up directly from them. This allows you to stop and talk to the employees if you have any questions before driving your new car home.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Next, use a car-buying site to figure out what cars are in stock near you - or nationwide, if you're willing to make a trip to pick it up or if the dealer offers delivery (usually for an extra charge). Use all of the available tools to narrow down your options by color, price, desired technology, miles per gallon, or any other criteria you've prioritized. When you click on a specific vehicle's listing, you can typically see which dealership is selling it and how to get in touch. You may even be able to see ratings from previous customers to determine if the dealer has a good reputation.

Finally, it's time to work with the dealership to make your purchase. At this point, most shoppers will head to the lot to finalize the deal: setting up financing if needed, bringing in their trade-in when applicable, and driving away. But, look at the vehicle listing closely and you may find you have the option to have the car brought right to you. Why not?

There are quite a few websites offering to help you find your new car. How can you tell which one to use? Keep these factors in mind:

  • Resources. Any website can try to sell you a car, but does it give you the information you need to make an informed decision? You might want to look at videos of test drives, comparisons between your two top picks, or articles that help you decide on a budget.
  • Transparency. How much detail can you get on any particular car? Does the site clearly tell you where the vehicle is located and which dealer is offering it? Are you able to make direct contact or do you have to use a form on the website and wait for a response? Can you see a car's pricing history?
  • Reputation. What do people say about their experience with using a particular car-buying site? Did it help them find legitimate vehicle listings or did it result in tons of spam emails and phone calls? Has the Better Business Bureau rated the company?

To help you in the search for your new set of wheels, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for online car-shopping. We're sure that this information will save you time and get you connected with a vehicle you'll love to drive!

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