World's first 'contactless car vending machine'

The “world’s first car vending machine”, giving motorists a chance to buy a brand new car via contactless payment on their phone, has been launched in London.

The bespoke dispenser, installed at Spitalfields Market, features a Renault Zoe with a pre-haggled price, meaning the electric car can be purchased on the spot.

The installation has been created by Auto Trader, the leading digital marketplace for new and used cars, to illustrate its unique pre-haggled prices and transparent price offering and to showcase the potential of ‘immediate’ car purchasing.

New research by Auto Trader of 2,000 British motorists found that more than nine in 10 Brits (92%) admitted they are bad at haggling when it comes to buying a car and 89% said they find haggling embarrassing and uncomfortable.

In fact, haggling on prices (41%) topped their list of anxieties about buying a new car, along with hidden costs (39%), worrying about making the wrong decision (28%) and having to wait a long time to receive a car after buying it (25%).

The bespoke contactless vending machine system allows purchases of up to £21,000, demonstrating how consumers can “buy and go” without having to worry about any haggling on the price, by finding a car and dealer through Auto Trader.

A team of six engineers spent three months designing and building the contactless car dispenser. A custom-made point of sale system and key release function was created, alongside an integrated payment and door release mechanic.

The installation features a brand-new Renault Zoe by Lookers Motor Group. The vehicle comes with a price of £16,000 (RRP of £22,470) that has already been agreed with the dealer, meaning drivers don’t need to worry about trying to get the best price themselves.

The price reflects the discounts buyers can find on new cars with Auto Trader’s pre-haggled prices. Nearly seven in 10 (68%) of Brits believe that if cars were sold online, pricing would have to be clearer and more consistent.

“Buying a brand-new car is an exciting experience, but it can often be tarnished by anxiety aroundhaggling and knowing whether you’re looking at the right price,” said a spokesperson for Auto Trader.