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7 Ways to Make Online Car Buying Easier

Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 in News

7 Ways to Make Online Car Buying Easier

[Online Car Buying] Today, more than ever, we're buying more and more things online. We're shopping for clothes, gifts, experiences, and groceries. And since COVID-19, a growing number of people are buying something even bigger online: cars. Yes, cars.

But though buying a car online can be convenient – and a surefire way to avoid aggressive salespeople chasing you around car lots – it does require some pre-planning.

Here are 7 steps to make your online car buying experience easier:

Narrow your car search. When it comes to buying a car, you've got options – new or used, gas-powered or electric, SUV or sedan, 2 or 4 doors. Before you begin shopping for a car, you'll need to determine the options that work best for your needs. Factors to consider are the miles you drive, where you live, who'll be driving the car, and how long you plan to own it.
Set a budget. Whether you're purchasing a car in person or online, you need to review your budget to determine how much you can spend each month. Think about how much money you can put toward the down payment. If you have a car to trade in, make sure you understand its value before you negotiate the price of your new car. Resources like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book can provide estimates. Also, when considering your budget, factor in the monthly cost of insurance, gas, and maintenance, which can really add up.
Get pre-approved. If you need a loan to purchase a car, which most people do, consider asking your financial institution for a pre-approval. A pre-approval lets a dealer know how much you can spend and can make the approval and purchasing process easier. You may also be able to obtain financing through the dealership, but you'll want to compare rates and terms.
Start browsing online. Once you've determined your budget and needs, you can start to identify makes and models, and potential features. Do your research to learn about car ratings and reviews to compare options.
Visit reputable online dealers. As with any type of online shopping, it's important to do business with reputable places. Ask your friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations, and be sure to read customer reviews. You should also speak with the Internet sales manager to learn more about the car, negotiate a fair price, and understand online policies, such as delivery and returns.
See the car in person. A car is a huge investment. So, it's a smart idea to inspect the car in person and take it for a test drive before you buy it. Some local dealerships may even bring the car right to you for your test drive.
Finalize the purchase. If you've inspected the car and find the price and purchasing policies acceptable, talk to the dealership about how to complete the process. The dealership may ask you to come in person to sign papers or allow you to sign them online. Some may even deliver the car and papers to you.

Buying a car online isn't hard, but it does require planning. Use the power of technology to do your research to ensure you drive away with the car that's right for you.

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