CarGurus to launch ‘instant transaction’ offer following CarOffer acquisition

Automotive shopping site CarGurus is launching a 100 percent online instant cash offer for consumers to sell their vehicles.

The offer comes amid the industrywide inventory shortage and after CarGurus’ acquisition of a 51 percent stake in the wholesale trading platform CarOffer in January.

CarGurus’s Instant Max CashOffer, powered by CarOffer, will allow consumers to sell their vehicles 100 percent online and have them picked up at the location of their choice.

The service was not piloted and will initially be available in Texas, Florida and Massachusetts.

CarGurus’ plans for the service arose from ongoing customer interest in digital retail options, but also because of the current demand spike and dearth of inventory for used cars in the U.S.

“We’re trying to be responsive to the toughest challenge in our industry in 30 years. Dealers are challenged to access inventory; it’s at an all-time low,” CarGurus COO Sam Zales said in an interview with Automotive News. “Our thought was, one, by listening to our customers, what’s their biggest pain point sourcing inventory. And to them, it’s not just sourcing inventory in the wholesale arena, it’s how do I get access to unique inventory I haven’t seen before first comes to market.”

Consumers can sell their vehicle on by entering the vehicle’s information and receiving offers from dealerships across the CarGurus and CarOffer network. The vehicle is then picked up once a consumer selects the highest bid. The seller is paid after a quick inspection of the vehicle.

Zales said instant bid transactions will be more appealing to consumers and that CarGurus expects the new tool to be help fuel more business for the company.

“It creates an instant transaction for that consumer,” Zales said. “Here’s what’s different: I can go to one dealer and say, ‘What’s your price?’ Instead, the beauty of this system is thousands of dealers putting their price in there. The consumer wins, and the dealer wins.”

He added: “It’s a rare win-win for our industry.”

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