Been browsing ads on Autotrader.com or Cars.com? Looking through auction listings on Ebay.com? Looked locally in craigslist.org ?
Buying cars online can be easy and worry free if you know what you’re doing and know what to look out for. Whenever you’re browsing cars online and see a price that just sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some of those cars might have salvage/rebuilt titles, some may be a scam and some may even be an advertisement just to attract you to that particular dealer.
Here are a few tips I suggest to anyone looking online for their next car:
1) Determine the make and model of the car you’ll be shopping for (Edmunds.com might help you with consumer reviews)
2) Look up estimated market value/private party value and look up trade in value at both KBB.com and Edmunds.com, under True Market Value
3) If you need your own financing I highly suggest you try getting a loan yourself from your local bank or your credit union.
4) Try to buy any used car for as close as trade in value as possible. I’m a dealer myself and have sold many cars online for under trade in value. Sometimes I find myself paying around trade in value for cars myself and sometimes I am able to buy well under trade in value. Its hard to say if you can actually buy your next car at trade in value, because some specific car models are very hard to purchase for trade in value, yet some are very easy. If you need some help with how much you should pay for a car feel free to e-mail me at the Free Advice link above.
5) When shopping online really important to get the VIN(vehicle identification) number for the cars. Most people automatically say run a Carfax on them, but as you might have read I prefer Autocheck. If you really want to be sure, I’d say run both.
6) For the very overly cautious folks buying a car from another state I suggest having a vehicle inspection service check the car out for you, that can range from $99-299 depending on the location and how complete of a check you want.
Again if you need any help or advice feel free to e-mail me at the Free Advice link at the top of the page