For anyone who recently has bought a car, it is striking how data-driven and consumer-friendly the process is. Gone are the days where consumers operated in the dark and car salesmen held all the power because of information asymmetry.
Now consumers can look up a car’s entire history — from its first inspection at the manufacturer, to whether it’s been in an accident, to even the last time its previous owner rotated its tires — guaranteeing a clear picture of a car’s condition and whether it’s worth buying. Consumers can even look up every recent sale of the exact make and model of car they’re interested in buying to ensure they’re getting a fair price. And they can do so all from the comfort of their own homes, an extra perk in the age of COVID-19.
Yet for Americans looking to make one of the other most costly decisions of