The conventional process of buying a car is pretty stressful. Those pushy salesmen would keep poking until you make a purchase (or change your contact info, for that matter). Plus, sometimes, it is practically impossible to find a specific model in your vicinity. That is when people go for importing vehicles, which is a tedious process in itself.
However, technology has brought some substantial modifications to the human lifestyle. Gone are the days when car geeks kept drooling over the new wheels in the market, printed on a magazine cover. Now, they can get their hands on these models by ordering online.
In fact, buying a new car online is more convenient than visiting a physical dealership. Once you know what car you want, shop around to find the best virtual deals. Go for the one that strikes all the right chords. According to Autotrader, car buyers spend 59% of their time online researching. This figure validates the fact that you must do some homework before barging into an automotive store.
Below, we have rounded up four smart tips you should follow when treading through the process. Heeding the advice in this blog will allow you to save a few bucks, get the best deal, and hopefully cut off some stress involved with buying a vehicle:
- Get Pre-approved for a Loan
Smart customers know that it’s not a good idea to reach out to a local dealership, in-person or online, without having a pre-approved financing deal. Your credit union or bank is one of the best places to start your search. Or you can even opt for a site that brings offers from multiple lenders with a single application.
When you get pre-approved for a loan, it enables you to set a reasonable price range. It also provides dealers with a benchmark deal they have to beat if they want to finance for your new or used vehicle.
Pro tip: Before you start looking for rates, it is essential to check your credit score. The better the score, the cheaper your new wheels will cost.
- Check for Car Deals
As mentioned earlier, not all wheels are running items in the automotive marketplace. If sales are not meeting expectations or the wheels are reaching the end of the product cycle, there might be a money-saving incentive available to enhance sales.
When you set out in the market, it is imperative to check out the deals offered at various portals. You can save thousands if you can take advantage of a low-interest financing offer, a cash rebate, or a subsidized lease deal. Low-interest financing deals will reduce or eliminate the interest on a car loan. The cashback deals lower the car price while a lease deal makes each payment smaller than the typical installment amount.
Pro tip: Never buy a car from the very first online dealer. Consider checking its competitors and also explore out-of-town online dealers. The prices usually vary due to location.
- Filter Search According to Budget
Autotrader recently discovered that most car buyers are unclear at the beginning of the process. When they first begin to research, 6 out of 10 of them will consider multiple vehicle options. This results in a time-consuming process. You better cut the chase and determine your budget at prior.
Then, when you are browsing cars online, add the amount you are willing to pay in the search grid. The results that pop-up will only display vehicles according to your affordability. You can also enter if you are looking for a used model. There are some special tips you must follow when buying a used car.
Moreover, it would be best if you acknowledge that the brand name might affect the price. Even a generic sedan may leave a hole in your pocket if it has a brand name attached to it. These days, car manufacturers have started their online sales platforms. Hyundai, Dacia, Peugeot, Volvo, and Vauxhall are some brands that let you buy a car through their website.
If your budget is low, steer away from such portals.
Pro tip: Always negotiate based on the full price of a car, not the monthly payment. There could be hidden costs factored into the prices, which dealers often omit during discussions.
- Communicate with Internet Sales Manager
A vital step when you buy car online is to discuss it with the dealership’s Internet Sales Manager. These are experienced people having a knack of virtual communication. They fathom the fact that online customers are generally more knowledgeable and tech-savvy than walk-in customers. This realization allows them to bring a no-haggle offer on the table.
Typically, your initial conversation with these entities will be about the vehicle you want and its specs. They may inquire about trade-ins or financing. We recommend you to be vague at this point as they might change the price if you tell them upfront.
Pro Tip: If you plan to buy a used car, ask the dealer to provide its vehicle history report. This contains an account of its accidents, repairs, title, and registration history. And if the dealer does not offer this report, it is relatively easy to obtain a report through CarFax or AutoCheck after you enter the used car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).
Parting Thoughts – Is buying a car online safe?
A question looming over the new entrants into the market is – how safe is the process?
Well, it is to note that an escalating trend of online car buying/selling is proof that credible entities are operating in the field. Although you may come across fraudulent parties, this is the reason why experts advise you to be vigilant at each step.
The amount of research you conduct accompanied by legal knowledge of the transactions will help you make a safe purchase decision. We hope our blog helped you gain some perspective, and you would be flaunting your dream wheels soon!