Shopping for a car online this FMCO? Here are some links for your weekend browsing

Hans · Jun 5, 2021 03:25 PM

Shopping for a car online this FMCO? Here are some links for your weekend browsing 01

As you already know by now, all car showrooms are closed until 14-June with possibility of further extension if the Covid-19 situation shows little improvement. If you are one of those are in the market for a new car and would like to take advantage of the SST cut extension, unfortunately your next best option is to shop online.

Of course, online platforms can never replace the physical experience of viewing a car in person, but until showrooms are re-opened, there is no better alternative.

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Also read: MCO 3.0: A confusing Monday for car companies and dealers in Malaysia

This is not the first time Malaysia has gone into a lockdown and unlike our government, many car companies have been using the past 1 year to improve their digital services.

Many brands have even setup online showrooms that if you wish, you can even place a booking there.

Shopping for a car online this FMCO? Here are some links for your weekend browsing 01

Unfortunately our JPJ hasn’t quite keep up with times so it is inevitable that the final few steps of the car purchase must still be done offline but the car companies have done pretty much what they can.

Short of registering the car, here are some links that you can start your online shopping for your next car.

Volkswagen

eshowroom.volkswagen.com.my

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) is one of the most progressive brands in the digital space. It was the first car company in Malaysia to partner with online shopping platforms to sell cars.

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Sold out in 20 minutes

In 2017, Volkswagen prepared 12 special edition Volkswagen Beetles to capitalize on the popular 12.12 online sales campaign hype. All 12 cars were sold in just 20 minutes.

One year later, 11 special edition Volkswagen Polos were prepped for….yes, you’ve guessed it, the 11.11 online sales campaign, and all 11 Polos were sold out in just 1 minute.

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Since then, many other brands have started selling cars online, albeit on a small scale, to complement rather than to replace the dealership experience.

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Buoyed by the initial success, Volkswagen has since setup its e-Showroom. VW will even deliver the car to your house, for a truly contactless experience (once JPJ counters re-open).

Not only that, even VPCM’s certified pre-owned cars divison Das Welt Auto is online.

dasweltauto.com.my

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So you can now buy both new and pre-owned Volkswagens - complete with manufacturer warranty, guaranteed genuine mileage and full vehicle service history – online.

Mitsubishi Motors

www.mitsubishi-motors.com.my/onlineshowroom

Among mainstream brands, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia’s online showroom is by far one of the most complete. There’s even a 360-degree VR view of the models, videos highlighting key features, and yes you can book your Triton online too.

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The user interface is very mobile friendly, pointers for frequently asked questions are well placed to walk you through the all the necessary steps to calculate monthly repayments, book your next Mitsubishi, or book a test drive.

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And yes, Mitsubishi will even deliver your car to your home or office (again, this is dependent on JPJ resuming its counter services).

Toyota

toyota.com.my/shopping-tools/online-showroom

Next up is Toyota. The brand might the No.1 non-national brand in the country but in the digital space, the brand has a lot of catching up to do.

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It has an online showroom, which is functional and does all the basic things you expect such platforms to do, but compared to Mitsubishi Motor Malaysia’s execution, it’s quite a step down. Even Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s Nissan online showroom, is a tad better (next up).

There’s no 360-degree VR view like Mitsubishi, no photo gallery, and no videos to tickle the buyer’s interest.

Nissan

nissan.com.my/v2/onlineshowroom

ETCM is one of the oldest car companies in Malaysia (established since 1957), but you will be surprised to know that the ETCM (and its sister company TC Euro’s Renault) has done a fairly good job pivoting into the digital space.

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It’s much better than Toyota’s execution and in one page, interested buyers can view a quick introduction video of each model, or ask to speak to a sales advisor.

Renault

www.renault.com.my/buy-a-renault

Nissan’s sister-brand Renault also has an online showroom and while it lacks Nissan’s multimedia experience, Renault offers several non-traditional ownership options – subscription and leasing, all of which can be arranged online.

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As a bonus, you can even sell your car through their online platform. For some buyers, that one-stop hassle-free experience is a huge plus point.

Hyundai

www.hyundai.com.my/clicktobuy

Launched yesterday, Hyundai's online showroom is the latest to join the digital space. It's quite basic though, there's nothing that you don't already see on the brochure or the model's page in the company's website.

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There is no monthly repayment calculator tool, photo gallery or product videos. You just select the colour of your choice and add to cart to make a booking

Mercedes-Benz

showroom.cyclecarriage.com.my

In the premium brands space, Mercedes-Benz online showroom is the most impressive of all.

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Technically, the virtual showroom is operated by Mercedes-Benz dealer Cycle and Carriage, Bintang (CCB) rather than the national sales office Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM), but this detail makes little difference to car buyers.

CCB’s virtual showroom is modelled after the Mercedes-Benz Mutiara Damansara Autohaus outlet. The VR format presentation brings the user close as possible to experiencing the showroom in person.

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You can take a virtual tour of the showroom, and get a closer look at the cars on display. It’s not quite the same as visiting the showroom in person, but close enough.

However unlike VW and BMW / MINI’s online showrooms, you can’t book a Mercedes-Benz from online.

BMW and MINI

shop.bmw.com.my

www.mini.my/en_MY/home/happenings/minionlineshop.html

BMW and MINI also has an online show room, but it works more like an extension of the configurator tool, closer to that of Volkswagen’s e-showroom, than Mercedes-Benz's virtual experience.

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The site is quite user friendly. Everything you need, from booking a test drive to calculating the monthly repayments, can be done on the same page.

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Carsome.my

So far we’ve only talked about new cars but if you are willing to consider used cars, there’s a wide variety of good bargains to choose from.

Why settle for a Honda City when you can buy a lightly used BMW 3 Series for the same money?

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Also readUsed vs New: Should you be brave to buy a used BMW 3 Series over a new Honda City?

Also readF30 BMW 3 Series: Still the best 3, tips to buy good used ones for RM 100k

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It's cheaper than you think

Or if you are a more sensible buyer, how about a 3-year old Subaru XV for the price of a new Toyota Vios? Why settle for a B-segment sedan when you can have an almost flash flood-proof, all-wheel drive, rally-bred, boxer-engine SUV?

Also readRM 50k for a used Subaru XV, but what are the common problems?

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3-year old Subaru XVs and Foresters sell for more or less the same price as a new Vios

Of course, with used cars, there are lot more things to consider – higher maintenance cost for example - but if you know what you are doing, the used car market is a treasure land for car lovers.

Used car dealers don’t have a very good reputation – hidden charges amounting to thousands of Ringgit, tampered odometers, warning lights that have been masked off by black tapes, error codes erased without repairs, manufacturing years that don’t match their advertisements’ claim, the list goes on.

Also readTampered mileage and erased warning lights rampant in used cars, buyers beware

All of the above are negatives that Carsome wants to fix, which is why their platform is the most transparent of all.

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Carsome’s listed prices may not be the cheapest, but you can be assured there are no hidden charges. The only additional payment that you need to make is insurance, whose cost differ from one buyer to another.

Also readBe wary of hidden charges when buying a used car!

Every car listed on Carsome.my comes with high resolution images of its exterior and interior, for you to scrutinize from your phone, as well as a detailed vehicle inspection report.

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The most transparent, trusted used-car buying platform - imperfections of every car is listed

The latter is not unique to Carsome but shop around and you will realize that Carsome’s reports are the only ones that actually highlights imperfections / minor repairs required, while other classified platforms’ inspection will show all is good for nearly every car (really?).

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You won't see such details on other classifieds sites

For June 2021, selected models sold by Carsome will be given up to RM 6,800 in discounts, RM 100 worth of Shell fuel vouchers, upgraded 1-year extended warranty that covers beyond the usual engine and transmission, now including fuel system, steering rack, and cooling system.

The latter is important because most third-party warranty packages covering used cars only cover basic items like engine and transmission, and little else.

If you are shopping for a used car, here are few more tips for you.

Buying used cars: How to test drive a used car?

Buying used cars: 5 signs a car has been in an accident

Buying used cars: 6 signs of flood damage

Worried about mileage tempering when buying a used car? Here's how to check

Warranty for used and recond cars; here’s what you need to know

Or you can ignore the above and buy a car with the Carsome Promise tag (almost all cars listed are) on the listing. For these cars, Carsome guarantees that the car is free from any major accident or flood damage. If you've found accident/flood-related defects within 5 days of purchase, Carsome will return your money and take back the car, no questions asked. How’s that for a risk-free buying experience?

So what's your opinion about buying cars online? Let us know what you think.

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Hans

Head of Content

Over 15 years of experience in automotive, from product planning, to market research, to print and digital media. Garages a 6-cylinder manual RWD but buses to work.

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