Buy Car without Dealership? Joydrive Says Yes

Online startup hopes to change auto retailing for the better

Having a brand-new car is great. Buying a brand-new car is not so great. One of the biggest problems? The incredible length of time it often takes in the dealership to complete a new-car deal. But what if you never had to go to the dealership at all? What if you could do the entire transaction from your couch while watching “Big Brother” on TV?

Joydrive Lets You Buy a New Car Online Without Visiting a Dealer…No, Really

A Seattle-based company called Joydrive is endeavoring to make that happen. It is less than a year old yet it claims to be the first “marketplace” in the industry that enables customers buy new and used vehicles from their home. Yes, no dealer visit required. It might kill the white-belt market for good.

In its short life, tech start-up Joydrive has expanded from representing one dealership and 500 used vehicles to affiliations with approximately 50 dealerships and 12,000 new and used vehicles. It says it has created the largest online auto marketplace in the country, surpassing online used-car purveyor Carvana.

Driving Today recently talked with Joydrive CEO Hunter Gorham about his company’s effort to turn auto retailing upside down. Others have tried to circumvent the American system in which car makers sell to car dealers and car dealers sell to consumers. Often the efforts haven’t worked out as advertised. But instead of trying to blow up the current system, Gorham said Joydrive is trying to change it by embracing dealers.

“Not every dealer,” he told DT, “but we want to work with dealers who are as passionate as we are about changing the prevailing system.”

Hear what Joydrive’s CEO says about revolutionizing car buying

Joydrive is built on a proprietary tech platform informed by Gorham’s experience as a 14-year auto finance industry veteran at Ally Financial, which was previously General Motors Acceptance Corporation. The result allows car buyers to price new and used cars from a variety of dealerships and purchase within Joydrive website without ever visiting a dealership.

The company offers its prospective customers these advantages:

Buy Online

The entire process can be completed online, from vehicle selection to delivery. Joydrive requires a $500 fully refundable deposit. Once that is in place, the prospective buyer completes the transaction through a user-friendly dashboard. Trade-in, vehicle service contract, financing options and delivery schedules are all set up online. And the site is prepared for the complex transactions that characterize many car-purchase deals. Of Joydrive’s completed transactions to date, approximately 40 percent included a trade-in vehicle and 60 percent included financing.

Home Delivery

Communicating through the dashboard, customers can coordinate the vehicle delivery time and date with their dealer representatives. Because vehicles are located on the premises of affiliated dealers, delivery can occur as fast as one day.

Five-Day Return Period

Buying a car is a major transaction, but few dealers offer any kind of return option. (What if the car doesn’t properly match your eye color, for instance?) To remedy that potential tragedy (and others) Joydrive and its dealer-members offer a five-day or 250-mile return period to enable customers to try out the vehicle in the manner they will actually use it.

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