Back in the days, if you wanted to buy a vehicle, the norm was to visit your closest dealership, look around, pick a vehicle, and deal with a grueling negotiating process.
Then websites such as Craiglist came along and started a trend. Craiglist allowed sellers to place ads online and reach not only local, but potential car buyers from around the country. Soon after, many dealerships in the country jumped on the trend and started creating ‘online sales’ teams dedicated to online car buying.
Things You Should Research Before Buying a Car Online
It’s true that online car buying has made purchasing a vehicle a lot easier. However, there is still preliminary work that must be done beforehand. These are are some recommendations of things you should research prior to the purchase of your new car.
1. Type of Vehicle
Do you have short or long commutes? Do you have a children? Do you need good head space because you’re taller? Which type of vehicle will serve you best?
From compact cars, sedans, SUVs, etc, we highly recommend to stick to your needs first and then consider your wants. Use sites such as Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, or Consumer Reports to research vehicle brands.
What is my top price? How much money will I need up front? Will I be able to keep up with monthly payments?
Have a reasonable price range that you are comfortable with. Establish a top price while keeping your budget in mind. Unless you’re purchasing the vehicle cash and you’re not financing it, find out how much you’ll need for a down payment. In addition. you’ll also want to know the ongoing cost month to month including gas, insurance etc.
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3. Available Financing
Is there financing available for the vehicle you want? Do you need to get pre-approved? Who will be financing the vehicle?
The next step is to get pre-approved for financing. You can do this by going to your bank, credit union and or private lender. This does not mean you’re forced to take a loan, but it gives you the financial information you need to purchase a vehicle. The lender can provide you with a letter that tells dealerships/sellers you’ve been pre-approved and for how much.
4. Quotes and Pricing
Once you know which vehicle you want, you have a budget and you’ve been pre-approved, the next step is to contact the dealerships or sellers. We suggest to have a list of at least three different sellers and ask them to provide you with their best price on the vehicle. Shop around and negotiate. Negotiating for the best price is usually easier online.
Once all this is done, you should finalize the deal. Stick to what you agreed and accept nothing else besides what was originally negotiated. Do not fall for ‘Bait and Switch’ tactics such as being told ” we just sold your vehicle but have similar ones available”.
If you finalize the sale in person, you’ll be able to pickup your vehicle and drive it home. If the vehicle is in another city or state, you can have your vehicle shipped to you. Depending on the needs of the vehicle, vehicles will generally ship via open or enclosed car carriers.
Need help coordinating a transport for your newly bought vehicle, feel free to contact Nationwide United Auto Transport at (800)-311-8305.