Do you hate the thought of haggling for a car? Auto Trader, a London-based auto dealer, has you covered. The company is testing the U.K.'s first-ever car vending machine in London’s Spitalfields Market.
The experiment is aimed at raising awareness of the difficulties of car price haggling and the advantages of "pre-haggled" prices. The designers hope the vending machine will relieve anxiety from the car buying process.
Contactless car purchase
The glass box in London's Spitalfields market contains a Renault Zoe. At a "pre-haggled" price of £16,000, anyone can come and buy the car - using contactless payment off their phone if they so wish.
Our @Lookers_Renault team are in London with @AutoTrader_UK showcasing the fantastic #Renault #Zoe, in the world's first contactless payment car vending machine! 🚗⚡#TheFutureIsHere #TapAndDrive #ForYouForLife pic.twitter.com/VrN01QXI5f— Lookers (@LookersGroup) August 21, 2019
A team of six engineers spent three months designing and building the contactless car dispenser. They created a custom-made point of sale system and key release function, as well as an integrated payment and door release mechanic.
Car buying anxiety
The vending machine bypasses the need to negotiate a car deal. As Gizmodo reports, the new contraption was made by Auto Trader to raise awareness on a survey it had carried out.
The car trader asked 2,000 people what they thought of haggling as part of the car buying process.
Reportedly, 9 out of 10 respondents said they find the process "embarrassing and uncomfortable." As such, they either don't haggle and lose money or make a silly offer (like asking for a £1 discount) because they don't want to lose the car they want.
At the top of the respondents' list of anxieties was haggling on prices (41%). Hidden costs came second at (39%).
If this is representative of Brits, it means that they are more worried about the interaction behind negotiating the cost than the actual cost itself.
It may well be, as 79% thought Europeans outside of the U.K. are far better at bartering a deal.
Lastly, respondents were worried about making the wrong decision (28%) and having to wait a long time to receive a car after buying it (25%).
The future of car sales?
In a press release, a spokesperson for Auto Trader said:
“This Renault Zoe can be purchased at the touch of a card, testing London car buyers’ appetite for electric cars as well as a more instant purchasing future.”
This isn't the first car vending machine in the world. Caravana has previously released its own machines in Texas.
In Japan, meanwhile, a huge 15-story car vending machine allows buyers to select from a wide variety of luxury cars.
What do you think? Could this be the future of car sales? If shaking the vending machine means we might get an extra car for free, we're certainly on board.