Time to buy a new car? Some fast tips before you get going.
A long while back, some of us at work were snickering about a coworker buying a car on eBay. “Can you imagine,” we laughed among ourselves. “Why would anyone do that?” We couldn’t even comprehend the idea. But times change and when more and more people warm up to an idea that once seemed outlandish, the rest of us tend to follow the herd and become more accepting of the “new”.
I’ve since reconsidered. After all, I bought my last car at CarMax. I didn’t complete the transaction online, but I searched through their inventory on the web at both my local store and those across the state. I narrowed down my choices in my price range, and decided on a Volkswagen beetle. I went to a CarMax store, found my beetle on the lot, and proceeded to make it mine. So my actions really weren’t that different from those of my coworker.
Why Buy A Car Online?
Here are a few reasons for making that big purchase online.
1. You save time.
Well, number one, it is a time saver. As I mentioned, I was able to see what cars were available without even leaving my house. I could see that if my local store didn’t have what I wanted, I could request that one be sent from another location. I already knew that a Volkswagen beetle fell within my budget, but that they didn’t have it in the color I wanted. That was fine, but for me, time was of the essence since my other car had died, and I needed new transportation asap. So by going online, I sped up the car buying process. I knew what I wanted to get before I even walked onto the lot.
2. You minimize the haggling.
Another reason is that it cuts down on price haggling. Many people dread the onerous back and forth with sales associates, and online buying eliminates a lot of that. There are numerous online car buying sites, including Edmunds.com, Automotive, CarsDirect.com, and of course, eBay. Some only offer information or brokerage services, whereas others will sell cars direct.
3. You increase your shopping choices and options.
In many cases, a car you buy online can be delivered to a local dealership for pickup. As with any major purchase, you want to protect yourself. One good piece of advice I have heard is only to buy cars located within a reasonable driving distance from you. That way you can go see it for yourself, kick the tires, and maybe even take a trusted mechanic with you.
How To Buy A Car Online: Other Tips
- Get the car’s history from Carfax or AutoCheck.
- If dealing with eBay, check the seller’s feedback, and read the fine print.
- Get an inspection.
- Make sure everything is in writing.
- Ask for titles and maintenance records.
- Don’t pay in cash, but use a credit card or reputable escrow company to protect against fraud.
- Consider getting financing in advance to save time.
- Don’t forget costs such as shipping, title, registration, taxes and maybe dealer’s fees.
- If you plan to use eBay, familiarize yourself with the site’s short term service agreement, purchase protection and mediation policies.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I’ve always had good luck with buying and selling cars and other big ticket items (e.g. furniture) online, so it’s something that I don’t give a second thought to doing any longer. Have you tried to purchase a car through the Internet before? How was your experience?
Other articles on this topic:
- Bear With Me As I Talk Myself Out Of Getting A New Car
- Replaced Our Old Car, Got The Best Deal On A Volvo Sports Wagon!
- Do You Really Know How Much It Costs To Own Your Car?
Contributing Writer: BEM
Created April 26, 2010. Updated August 20, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.