Mitsubishi Motors has become the latest carmaker to let consumers buy its entire range of new vehicles online.

The company says its offering differs from others on the market in that it allows buyers to choose how much of the transaction process they would like to complete online and how much at a dealership.

Customers have the option to research the car online and complete at their chosen dealership, complete their entire purchase online, or research a car at their dealership and complete online. They can also get home delivery where available.

Tim Lawrence, global head of manufacturing at PA Consulting, recently told Automotive Logistics that while direct-to-customer sales models are likely to grow in the coming years, vehicle sales are unlikely to become completely virtual.

The most probable evolution, he suggested, was a mixed model in which customers can choose to place orders online or in a dealership, according to personal preference.

The Mitsubishi Buy Online website has been developed with Rockar, an online vehicle retailing specialist formed in 2011. It also aims to provide earlier visibility of finance options and delivery times, as well as more accurate trade-in valuations.

The company says that because of its existing partnership with auction specialist BCA, it will provide a part-exchange facility that can also predict future trade-in values.

Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said: “Consumers are increasingly looking to the internet to complete all kinds of purchases and while the vast majority of car buyers enjoy the experience of a traditional showroom environment, there is a marked growth in those that desire the convenience of an internet transaction when considering their new car.”

Other carmakers that have made similar moves to e-commerce in the UK include Hyundai and Peugeot.

Meanwhile, Geely subsidiary Volvo has announced a very different sales format for both its Lynk & Co and Polestar electric vehicle brands, including a subscription model versus outright ownership.

Volvo recently also launched a new Care by Volvo subscription service, initially starting in Milan with the launch of the XC40 model. “This will make having a car as transparent, easy and hassle-free as having a phone: a national, ready-negotiated monthly fee, combined with getting a new car every 24 months,” said Volvo in September.