Tips for Buying a Car Online
There are many ways to purchase an automobile, and, for many of us, buying from a local dealer—being able to see the car and test drive it without inconvenience—is preferable. With that said, more and more people are buying cars online these days, and there are some clear benefits here. Sometimes, this is the best way to get a good deal, plain and simple. Then again, it’s also a good way to stumble into a scam. So how do you know exactly who you can trust?
One tip is to simply remember that you are buying a car online, and not locally. As such, you should be prepared to do a little driving. If you only search for cars within a five mile radius of where you live, you’re likely going to end up talking yourself into something you don’t really feel good about. Expand your search radius to at least 25 miles; a truly good deal will be worth some extra driving for!
Another thing to remember is that every used vehicle is unique, and every car is going to come with its own specific vehicle history. When interacting with a seller, ask him or her to send you a copy of the official vehicle history report. If the seller refuses, be very concerned. You can get the report on your own, but a dealer who is unwilling to provide it to you is likely hiding something.
In searching for a car online, you will likely find some offered by individuals, and others offered by dealerships. Buying from a dealership offers one distinct advantage—namely, that you can investigate the dealership and look for reviews from other consumers. Make sure you take the time to do this; those reviews could prove invaluable to you, and help you steer clear of any disreputable auto dealers!
Finally, just remember this cardinal rule: You do not ever want to buy a car if you can’t see it and drive it. Do not make any agreements to purchase an automobile unless you are able to travel to the seller’s location and take the car for a spin, as well as look under its hood. Following this rule is the single most important step you can take toward avoiding a con.
By following all of these guidelines, you can minimize your chances of being scammed—and hopefully you can get a great deal on a terrific car, in the process!