Toyota West vs. online.cars

You’re at a wonderful stage of life: It’s time to purchase your first car. Whether you’re going with a new or pre-owned model, you can’t wait to slide behind the wheel and drive into the sunset.

Of course, before you can make that dream a reality, you have to find the right vehicle for you. And that means finding a place that can help without hindering.
Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into two popular Columbus car-shopping sites: Toyota West and online.cars. You can be the judge as to which one is right for your needs. Simply look at the questions we’ve asked and the answers we’ve given.

Which place offers the better selection of vehicles?

Toyota West regularly has an inventory of several hundred used cars and many new ones in the showroom and at their lot. At the time of this evaluation between Toyota West and online.cars, their pre-owned inventory was roughly 350 options.

While 350 may seem like plenty to choose from, online.cars promises more than 10,000 vehicles to choose from. Because it isn’t constrained by an actual location, online.cars can sweep through a vast database and find vehicles that Toyota West doesn’t have on hand.

Which place gives you a CARFAX history report?
How on earth did car buyers ever live before the age of CARFAX? Their history reports have saved individuals and families from making huge, lemony mistakes for years. Obviously, no one should ever consider plunking down money on any car that doesn’t have a CARFAX record.

It turns out that Toyota West and online.cars both excel in this area. The dealership and the online platform promise CARFAX reporting to their customers, which is great to see.

Which place offers a private buying experience?

It’s tough to feel like you’re getting a truly one-on-one, personal experience when you walk into a dealership. Yes, the sales personnel at Toyota West are ready to help… but perhaps you’re not in the mood for their assistance. Then what? Do you walk around awkwardly, hoping no one talks to you? Or do you leave and get online?
online.cars has a less invasive feel from the get-go because you’re never hurried or hassled. No one is trying to negotiate with you from the moment you step foot in the (virtual) door. Customer service personnel are available online to answer questions and make recommendations, but they are hardly a nuisance. Feel free to shop in your pajamas, judgment-free. That’s about as private as car buying could get without hiring a personal assistant to do the work on your behalf!

Which place gives you financial assistance with bad credit?
Okay, so you’ve fallen into a credit trap. It happens, and there are ways for you to slowly get yourself out of the bad credit zone. In the meantime, you still need a set of wheels to get you to and from school and/or work.

Toyota West and online.cars have robust financial assistance programs. However, online.cars is the one that promises you an auto loan option no matter how bad your credit score might be. How can they so assuredly do that? They’re not locked into working with or for any particular financial provider. Thus, they can shop around the country for you. Yes, your payback terms might not be as sweet as they would be if your credit score were at least 600, but you’ll at least be able to get yourself a car with online.cars.

Which place is open during convenient hours?

Okay — this is kind of a loaded question because online.cars never sleeps. Yet it’s a practical inquiry in an age when people are on their computers morning, daytime, and well into the evening.

To their credit, Toyota West does offer open hours every day of the week, including Sundays. (Many other dealerships aren’t that flexible and close down for Sunday.) However, you won’t be able to get a loan or sign online documents with them on downtime. You’ll simply have to fit their schedule into your lifestyle, which can be tough if you’re busy.

Which place brings a vehicle to your door?

At Toyota West, you have to do the “typical dealership dance.” In other words, you go there, you talk with a sales representative, test out a few cars, select one, spend an hour or two on paperwork, and (if all goes well with the credit portion) drive off the lot. Sounds like a lot of fuss.

Imagine a different experience: You do everything online, including signing your name to all those docs in a private forum. Then, your car is delivered by an online.cars employee. Sweet? Absolutely! It’s a practical solution for people who relish the precious moments they can spend relaxing, binge-watching Netflix, hanging with friends and family, or enjoying some recreational sports.

Which place takes your privacy seriously?

It’s another tie with this question that’s important to anyone who’s been involved in the plethora of global data breaches. Toyota West and online.cars protect their customer base with a promise of privacy. That goes a long way to helping anyone feel better about choosing one of them.

Which place gives you a money-back guarantee… after you drive for a few days?
Perhaps you could negotiate this with Toyota West, but it’s not apparent from any of their materials. Yet online.cars offers one of two options: Drive your new-to-you car for 150 miles or three days. In either case, if you’re not satisfied, you can contact the company and return the vehicle as long as it hasn’t been damaged (which is only fair.)

This kind of guarantee is unusual in the world of dealerships, but online.cars is taking a decidedly online retailer approach to car buying. It’s refreshing in an industry where customers often feel like they have few choices.

 

Ready for your first car-buying adventure?

 

Hopefully, you’ve gotten a better feel for your preferred car-buying direction. Regardless of whether you head to Toyota West in Columbus, or online.cars, immerse yourself in this rite of passage. It’s bound to be exciting!

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