If you have a used car and are looking to dispose of it, you have many options available online. Typically, it takes a car owner around 30-50 attempts to sell the car. The process involves listing the car on various websites, taking numerous calls, meeting multiple buyers, facing last-minute buyer back offs, delayed payments and an endless wait for the ownership transfer. Even after all this, there is no guarantee that owner will get a fair price for the car.
This is where Cars24 has stepped in. It buys any car, irrespective of its condition or make and gives you the best price through a hassle-free process. All one has to do is - book an appointment with any of the CARS24 branches, get the best price for the car through scientific inspection and live online auction, in which thousands of authorised buyers participate to buy the car. Moreover, CARS24 also offers instant payment and free RC transfer once the owner sells the car.
Founded in 2015 by Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal, the company has now grown to over 50 branches across 11 cities and has managed to auction over one lakh cars till date.
In an interaction with TNM, Vikram Chopra, who is also the CEO of the company, delved into many areas including the aim of entering the used car market, USP of the company and future plans.
What was the prime objective of venturing into the used car business?
The pre-owned car industry has largely been unorganised since long. There is a huge gap in the demand and supply of the used-car industry. There is no standard procedure for the pre-owned car sale along with absence of any mechanism to deduce the correct value of the car.
Adding to this is the cumbersome process of reaching out to individuals and unorganised market players who do not provide a detailed evaluation of the car. A seller has to put in a lot of time and efforts to find the right buyer. The hassles continue, as complete payment and document transfer become a major overhead. Looking at these gaps, we wanted to use technology to solve this problem and streamline the pre-owned car selling procedure for the customers. We believe there is huge potential in this industry and our offerings can bring a revolution in the pre-owned car industry.
How does the concept work and what differentiates you from the others?
CARS24 is the only company in India that provides a complete solution to the people who want to sell their pre-owned cars. After booking an appointment, the customer has to bring the car to a CARS24 branch. At the branch, our technical experts inspect the car using state-of-the-art gadgets. A report is generated and the car is put up for live online auction where thousands of authorised buyers bid for it thereby ensuring best price for the car.
CARS24 buys every type of car irrespective of the State of registration, condition, make, model and condition. Along with this, CARS24 ensures the entire process of resale is completed within a matter of hours and the customer leaves the branch with instant payment and complete documentation transfer. Instead of merely focusing on lead generation for buyers and sellers, we focus on helping car owners sell their cars in the most efficient possible way.
What kind of technology is being incorporated?
CARS24 employs technology to ensure definite data points are captured through scientific inspection of cars. CARS24 has developed in-house Apps for inspection and authorised buyers that cut-down on precious customer time and ensure seamless information sharing between several teams and participants. These apps utilise advance algorithms to handle huge amount of data in real-time. In addition to the robust backend, the apps provide user-friendly interface to facilitate easy representation and understanding of the data. CARS24 uses modern devices for the inspection of the car and capturing detailed information.
What is your USP?
CARS24 offers the best price for a used car with instant payment and free RC transfer once the owner sells the car. CARS24 buys cars directly from the owners in just one visit and is steadily revolutionising the way used cars are sold in India.
Is there a particular age group of customers you are targeting?
Our target audience does not depend on the age or demography and it includes everyone who owns a car.
How do you get customers? Is it mainly through ads / word of mouth publicity?
CARS24 actively reaches out to its customers through informative marketing campaigns utilising various touchpoints over television, print, digital and radio. Recently, we launched a TV commercial featuring Boman Irani that highlighted the procedure we follow to help car owners sell their cars in the most efficient way possible. However, more than 30% of our customers come via word-of-mouth i.e by reference from friends and relatives.
Why is the used car segment seeing so much traction?
The growth of pre-owned car market can be attributed to three key drivers:
First time buyers prefer second-hand cars as they are more affordable and hence a bigger car can be bought in the budget of a smaller new car. The change in lifestyle preferences also drives consumer buying in the pre-owned car market.
The supply of used-cars is increasing as average ownership periods are decreasing to around four to five years.
There is increase in trust and transparency with more information available about used-cars.
Growth projections for the used car industry
The used-car industry is on the rise in India. The organised sector is currently growing at a rapid rate of 15-20% per annum and is expected to pick even more pace in the coming years. In absolute numbers, more than 3.5 million used cars are sold every year as compared to around 3 million new cars. Within 5 years, the used-car industry could become two or three times the new car market in India.
Future plans of the company
Apart from the 10+ cities CARS24 is already present in, we plan to expand to other tier 1 and 2 cites like Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Lucknow considering the growing pre-owned car market in these cities. Talking about our long term plan, CARS24 is looking to become the biggest auto player in India in the next 5 years.
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