- the number of online used-car shopping sites is growing, notably with gm announcing carbravo earlier this month. ford is now offering longer at-home test drives than competitors as a way to stand out.
- any used vehicle purchased through ford blue advantage, not just ford models, can be tested out at home for two weeks and a maximum of 1000 miles once the program starts next month.
- carvana and vroom both offer seven-day test drives (with lower mileage allowances), and we don't yet know what carbravo will offer.
you can’t kick the tires when you're shopping for a car virtually, but you'll soon be able to test it out for two weeks and put up to 1000 miles on it if you're using ford's revamped used-vehicle shopping site called ford blue advantage.
ford blue advantage offers both ford and non-ford vehicles, and any one of them will qualify for the new 14-day/1000-mile money-back guarantee once that service officially starts in february. ford partners with its dealers and autotrader on the used-car site, and the automaker also offers two different warranty levels (gold certified or blue certified) for vehicles purchased under the ford blue advantage program. gold certified used vehicles are for models up to six years old and come with a 12-month/12,000-mile limited warranty, while the blue tier is used for vehicles up to 10 years old and comes with a 90-day/4000-mile limited warranty. not every vehicle listed on blue advantage fits into one of these two categories, but ford says 90 percent of the vehicles do. the detroit free press notes that blue advantage features between 20,000 to 25,000 certified used vehicles, with around 80 percent of them being ford models.
other online car shopping sites offer some form of at-home test drive, but ford's stands out for its duration and mileage. carvana, for example, will let you test a vehicle out for seven days and with a 400-mile mileage cap (you can pay $1 per each additional mile). carvana will let you test out and return a total of two vehicles, and then your third vehicle is the one you're stuck with as it does not come with the seven-day guarantee. vroom also has a seven-day test period (with a max of 250 miles). general motors has not yet detailed any vehicle satisfaction guarantee for its new online shopping site, carbravo, which is scheduled to start operating next month.
ford's reasoning for starting the blue advantage partnership in early 2021 seems to have paid off. in its announcement for the new two-week guarantee period, ford said that the company has seen internet traffic that is 500 percent higher to that shopping portal than the company's previous certified pre-owned site, and it said ford certified used vehicle sales rose by 26 percent in 2021. we assume this increase had something to do with the strong demand for used vehicles over the past year and not just a new way to shop.