5 Things You Must Do Before Buying a Car Online
Here's a guide for a smoother and hassle-free online car-buying transaction.
Buying a car online is not just for the affluent. These days, it is just as much for practical consumers seeking convenience. Car sale websites are for everyone, are accessible 24/7, and are presenting the most comprehensive lists of auto and financing options available in the market.
Before shopping online for a new or used car, be sure to do the following tasks to ensure a smoother and more hassle-free transaction:
1. Do your own research.
Buying a car online is for every practical American consumer these days. With the advent of the Internet, it is much easier and faster to research cars and prices while checking out options through car sale websites like Carzing.com.
“Buying a car online is for every practical American consumer these days.”
You might check out the latest published reports about the prevailing costs of buying and owning a car in your area. If you live in Michigan, Nevada, California, Florida, and Connecticut, you should know that buying and owning a vehicle in your state is much more expensive (from about $14,000 to $17,000 in three years—including purchase prices, insurance, taxes, and possible maintenance) compared to costs you would incur if you are living in Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Utah (where costs range from $12,000 to $12,700).
2. Decide on what car you are buying.
It would make your online search much easier and faster if you have already decided on the brand and model of car you intend to buy before even going online to check out available units. In your search, you might find yourself changing preferences and decisions after finding other available cars on various sites, but knowing your needs beforehand is always valuable.
For bargain hunters, there are many other considerations when making the purchase decision. It is not just about costs, as most of the time, you would have to pay a few more dollars (or hundreds) to ensure high quality of overall customer service (especially aftersales), which may mean a lot.
“For bargain hunters, there are many other considerations when making the purchase decision.”
3. Check out various financing options available.
A study conducted by online car marketplace Carvana found that up to 71% of car loan borrowers are not fully aware of the overall amount of interest they have paid on their auto loans. About 69% of consumers are also not aware of how much a percentage point discount on their interest rates could save them.
That is why most experts advise doing more research, not just about the car you are buying but more so about the interest rates on car loans you are considering taking. The right financing could help make your online car purchase more effective and practical.
4. Make a checklist of the features that your car must have.
You surely have particular reasons for choosing specific car brands or models over the others. If you are buying a car for family use, you are likely in need of features different than those that are usually preferred by college students or young, single professionals.
“You surely have particular reasons for choosing specific car brands or models over the others.”
Do you prioritize high fuel economy or are you up for the luxury? Make your own personal list of features you prefer in your dream car and find the right-match online, of course still in consideration of the above-mentioned factors.
5. Take note of car return policies of dealers.
Though most auto manufacturers guarantee that their cars are of the most superior condition before those leave their facilities, there could still be minor (or even major) defects that could affect your driving experience.
This is why you should thoroughly read a dealership’s return policy before making the purchase. What are the fees you might have to pay for a return? Will the process be a tedious one? What other options do you have if you need to return a car in the future?