Trevor Bergmann from Halifax was searching for a used vehicle and decided to look into a newer way to shop for a car.
"My partner Jennifer found a vehicle online — it linked through to this company, Clutch, and we thought it was the best idea ever," said Bergmann, 36.
Clutch is what could be called a virtual dealership. Instead of visiting one or more showrooms to compare vehicles, consumers browse the website for a used car, and a "Clutch concierge" brings it to their home or workplace for a test drive.
"Going to every dealership to have a look at the vehicles we wanted was less ideal than having somebody bring us the vehicles," says Bergmann, CEO of commercial drone operator AeroVision, who took a 2017 Ford Explorer for a spin during his lunch hour.
Innovation is a big deal in this business, given that most Canadians buy second-hand. Consider this: a record number of new vehicles were sold in Canada last year — two million — but that same number of used cars is sold annually in Ontario alone.
Unlike other online used car sites, such as AutoTrader, which are classified ad sites that connect buyers and sellers, Clutch owns all the vehicles in its inventory.
Clutch also says it offers better prices.
"Most new entrants in an industry might provide a better service, but they do it for a bit more money," says co-founder Stephen Seibel. "Think of something like Uber Eats — food comes to your door but you're paying a premium."
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