7 Tips for Buying a Car Online
If you’re planning to purchase your next vehicle over the Internet, there are a few things you should keep in mind before making your final decision. Consider the following tips to make the most of your next online car purchase:
1. Make Your Decision
Knowing what make and model of car is best for you and your family, and researching features and trim, is an important first step in the online car-buying process.
Decide on what type of vehicle is best suited to your situation, so you can narrow your search to focus on the car type that’s right for you and your family.
2. Use the Right Websites
Visit your car dealer’s website to browse its vehicle selection for the type of car that you’re interested in purchasing. Alternatively, you can also use websites that can help connect you to multiple car dealers in your area.
3. Get Your Quotes
Once you find your vehicle of choice online, you may find the listed price accompanying your chosen car. However, until you get a quote, you cannot know the actual price of the car as listed prices may not reflect the final price of your vehicle of choice.
Complete an online request form, or email the dealership directly, to receive your quote. In order to get the best deal possible, check multiple dealerships’ websites and ask them for their best offer.
4. Compare and Contrast
After you’ve received multiple quotes from various dealerships for your vehicle of choice, it’s time to compare these prices against each other, and against the actual market value of the vehicle.
Check competing websites for the sticker price of the vehicle, rather than the invoice price. The sticker price is the actual retail price of the car, while the invoice price is the price that the dealers paid for the vehicle, which take into account any discounts that the car manufacturer may have offered them.
5. Research Financing Options
One of the most common mistakes made by new car-buyers is not figuring out financing before contacting the dealership.
Although many car dealerships may offer you financing options, it’s wise to research your financing options beforehand so that you get the best possible deal. Compare the rates for a car loan through your current bank with the rates provided by your dealer. What’s more, inquire about any financing incentives and rebates.
6. Negotiate When Possible
When you’ve received multiple quotes from a variety of car dealers, choose the best one, and then – if it’s possible – negotiate this quote with your chosen dealer.
Use your previous research to determine whether you have room for negotiation. When you’re negotiating, always be sure that you outline price quotes in an email. What’s more, ask your dealer if the quote includes (or doesn’t include) any extra fees – you may be able to negotiate certain items such as “customer service fees” and add-ons, potentially saving thousands of dollars from the price of your vehicle.
7. Visit the Dealership in Person
The final step of your online car-purchasing process is to visit the dealership in person, so that you can take your new car for a test drive and finalize the deal.
It’s vital that you take your vehicle of choice for a test drive before finalizing your purchase – check if all of your preferred features are included, and make sure that you’re comfortable with handling the vehicle.
At this point, you can work with the dealership to finalize the bill of sale, then sign any necessary financing paperwork. All that’s left now is to pick up your new car keys and get behind the wheel of your brand new ride.
Remember: purchasing a new car for yourself and your loved ones is no small feat! With a little extra effort, you can save time and money on your next car purchase by using the Internet to your advantage.