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Car Buying Online

The vehicle e-purchase

Buying online is the latest craze in cars. You can easily research options, comparison shop and find the vehicle of your dreams, all without leaving the living room! You can use the Internet to research things like car history reports, or you can use it as a big auto mall and buy online.

Online, you'll find car-buying websites that gather a number of different types of vehicles together and will ship to a local dealership, and also some car manufacturers and dealers with their own websites promoting their business and offering sales.

Private Sales

Online vehicle sales are very popular in the private sector. You can shop on auto sales websites where users post their vehicles, or you can look on community bulletin boards to see what's around.

For the most part, you'll end up getting the seller's contact information off the Internet, and the rest of the purchase will be conducted in person.

Online Tips

Whether you're purchasing from a manufacturer, dealer or individual, there are some things to remember when you're shopping online:

  • Looks can be deceiving. It's really easy to make a vehicle look great in pictures. All it takes is the right angle and some creative lighting, and that lemon turns into a gem. Make sure you don't agree to anything until you've seen the car in person - if you're completing your purchase online, work a clause into the sales agreement that says you can opt out if there is any significant difference between what the picture shows and what you're actually getting.
  • Trust your gut. The biggest problem with the Internet is the number of scammers who try to take advantage of unsuspecting surfers. A good motto is if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Protect yourself by never offering up your full contact information and keeping your financial information private.
  • Join the club. If you're looking for a particular car, find the make's online club and join. There you'll find authentic car enthusiasts who can help you through the buying process and may even know where to find good deals.
  • Look around. The Internet opens up thousands of avenues for you to explore, so make sure you take a trip down at least a few of them. Just like buying a vehicle in person, don't go with the first thing you lay eyes on - you never know what you might be missing out on.
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