Deliver My Ride, a new car buying site from the new firm MadDog Technology, is the latest to offer a car buying service without the buyer having to visit the dreaded dealership.
Deliver My Ride made the interesting choice to be website only so far; there is no smartphone app. Users create an online profile that will be sent to multiple dealerships and brands for free (the site makes money by building a $500 transaction fee into the quote). Then the site serves up the vehicles it finds that fit the user’s profile.
The car can be delivered to the user’s home or office without that person having to visit a dealership. The entire transaction allows the buyer to remain anonymous until the end, so no spammy emails from local dealerships as punishment for daring to research vehicles online.
There are a few hitches in the service, like the fact that there isn’t an app. Also, on the question of test drives, the site recommends finding a friend who has the same make and model of vehicle and driving theirs or asking for their feedback. Or the user can abandon the anonymous security of Deliver My Ride to contact a dealership to arrange a test drive.
In any case, you do get to test the car before signing the final paperwork when the car is delivered. And if you do go all the way through the process and purchase a car via Deliver My Ride, you get a free one-year AAA membership.
It’s an interesting landscape for Deliver My Ride to jump into right now. Beepi, a peer-to-peer used-car buying and selling app, shrank its service area and let 180 of its staff go in December 2016. At the same time, Beepi merged with Fair, another car marketplace app fronted by veterans of BMW, Tesla, TrueCar, and others. Fair has yet to go live, so keep an eye on this space.
There’s also Shift, which is focusing on picking up Beepi customers who were left out in the car-buying-app cold when Beepi concentrated its services on its Southern California home base. Like Beepi, and unlike Deliver My Ride, Shift deals in private party sales, not dealerships, and most of its business so far is in California, with an outpost in Washington, D.C.
MadDog Technology was founded in 2014 and is chaired by Peter Karmanos Jr., who founded Compuware Corp. in 1973. (He’s also the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team.) The service is launching in Karmanos’ hometown of Detroit, making it one of the few not based in California.