Illinois lawmakers have passed an amendment to the state’s vehicle code allowing car dealers to sell and deliver vehicles online, after facing pressure from e-commerce platform Carvana.
Although dealerships in the state have been selling vehicles online for some time, the updated bill establishes explicit permissions regarding internet transactions, whereas earlier versions lacked precise guidelines. The law also gives retailers the right to ship purchased vehicles directly to the customer, although buyers are required to request home delivery in writing. Carvana, one of the nation’s largest digital car dealers, has supported the amendment since state senator Patrick Joyce first filed to change the law in February. After clearing the Illinois House and Senate with unanimous votes, the revision was officially codified last month by Governor Jay Robert Pritzker, with an effective date set for New Year’s Day.
Vehicle purchases are occurring online with more frequency than ever as car dealers look to accommodate customers who prefer shopping from home rather than in-store. Digital retailers like Carvana have been at the forefront of this shift, conducting as much of their business online as local regulations allow. Differences in state law, however, make it difficult for nationwide brands to offer the same level of service to consumers in all areas, hence why the e-commerce platform voiced its support for changing the Illinois vehicle code. In a statement, Will Dammann, government relations manager at Carvana, thanked residents in the state “who voiced their support for modernizing existing laws” while praising lawmakers “for taking action on behalf of local consumers.”
This is not the first time that Carvana has engaged with the Illinois government. State regulators suspended the digital retailer’s dealership license in 2022 after an investigation confirmed customer reports of mishandled titling and registration. The license was reinstated earlier this year, although the online car dealer must now submit to inspections and other restrictions. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in a complete revocation of the brand’s license.