Ensuring that you get what you are paying for when you buy a car online can be tricky. Follow these steps to make sure the deal you have found on your dream car isn’t too good to be true.
Always look at the reviews
Knowledge is power. Or, at least, in this case, knowledge will keep you from ending up in a lemon.
To help you narrow your options down and find a car that suits your needs, check out a few of the many auto-related resources available online for reviews of the model or models you are interested in.
Reviews can help you anticipate where there might be issues with a specific make or model, such as premature rusting on certain parts or a faulty oil gauge component.
Knowing which issues other drivers had with that car can help you set some restrictions for what is acceptable wear and tear and what is not and being a knowledgeable consumer may just allow you to negotiate a better deal.
Check out the vehicle history report
No matter how souped-up and shiny the photos of a used car look, it’s what’s underneath the hood that really counts. Always research a vehicle’s history report to weed out any potential issues.
The AA Car Data Report is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to buy a used car. An AA Car Data vehicle history report includes a comprehensive report for cars and trucks based on their vehicle identification number.
A report will include any information from the vehicle’s past that might impact your decision to buy, such as title information, odometer readings, insurance write-offs, number of owners, reported as stolen, airbag deployments and other accident indicators, and flood damage history, just to name a few.
Research your dealer
Buying from a reputable and fair dealer is one of the best ways to ensure you are not paying more than you should. After all, no matter how great a deal looks on the surface, working with a dishonest car dealership will almost always lead to some fine print and hidden fees.
Before stepping foot in a dealership, look for reviews online. If reviews for a particular dealership are hard to come by, use your social media platforms or the good old-fashioned telephone to ask around. After all, your friends and neighbors purchased their car somewhere, and they are likely to give you an honest review of the service they received.
Get internet quotes from several dealers
You may think you’ve found the perfect deal, but how can you be so sure that the price is right? You can’t unless you’ve made an effort to shop around and compare prices from several dealers. Be sure you include the cost of shipping the car you plan to buy. If you are looking at the same model for the same price in two different parts of the country, the price of shipping might help you choose the best one for you.
Be sure to get quotes on comparable cars from multiple dealers before visiting each dealership. That way, you’ll enter each dealership with an idea of what an excellent first offer should be and have the leverage of multiple quotes on your side, which may help you negotiate a better price.
Research various vehicles and features
Before setting your sights on a certain make and model, research the different vehicles and features you are interested in. After all, even if you do get a good deal on a car if that car does not suit your lifestyle, it’s still going to be a headache.
For example, that 9-foot truck bed isn’t going to make parallel parking on your busy street easy, and the incredible gas-mileage on a compact car isn’t going to make car-pulling any easier.
Check out various automaker’s websites to view photographs and learn more about the various features and options that different models include to find a car that suits your budget and your lifestyle.
Look into online pre-financing options
While you can typically get financing options from the dealership where you purchase your car, this is not the best choice, as dealerships often assign a much higher interest rate to their loans.
Instead, look for financing options online or with your bank or building society. If you are looking for financing options for new drivers, be sure to take advantage of potential financial discounts. For example, some dealers offer good student discounts or discounts for individuals who have taken driving lessons in Slough. You can also compare loans from multiple providers in one search using GoCompare.
Make a deal with a written agreement
When it comes to your final agreement, always get the offer in writing. This mitigates the headache and cost of potential misunderstandings, and you can also use it as leverage in negotiating with other dealerships.
Buying a new car is a big decision, and it is crucial to put your due diligence into the process.
Take your time, do your research, and never buy on impulse simply because the dealer has other interested buyers. There will always be another car and another deal that may be an even better fit for your lifestyle and budget.