Buy A Car Online
Purchasing a new vehicle can be both exciting and daunting. This challenge is magnified if you decide to buy a car online. Despite the fact that the Internet in most cases helps you purchase a new car and it is cost-effective, it is not without any risks. The best precautions you will have to take boil down to sound judgment and due diligence in order to avoid getting attracted into a bad deal in the first place.
Chris Jacobs, an auto pro at eBay Motors, said that all those people that want to acquire a car online mustn’t forget about the common sense and just like any other purchase, the potential buyer must ask as many questions as he can and find out all there is to it about the vehicle prior to signing an agreement which is irreversible.
There are many people out there that rush into things by sending off a deposit right after they have found the car that they want. In some unfortunate cases, after the so-called seller gets the deposit, he vanishes. For this reason, it is highly recommended to conduct business with an individual / company that have a reputation. To find out more about the seller, you need to ask him a lot of questions; this way you will be able to weed out the potential phonies.
To give you a relevant real-life example, you should ask the seller for additional photos of the car if you want to get a better view of the car’s trunk, interior or other parts. If the seller will not answer you immediately or he is evasive, it is best to move along and look for another car. According to Mitch Truck, who is a consultant for DealerDNA, you shouldn’t take any risks while purchasing a vehicle through the Internet.
At the same time, the Internet can offer you more information about the seller. You will have the possibility to read the feedback posted by former customers who have done business with the seller in the past. This feature is available on the aforementioned eBay Motors as well as other websites that offer car selling services. Finding out reputable and trustworthy sellers is a crucial aspect of the entire transaction because if your hard-earned money leave your hands and go to an online thief, it will be virtually impossible to track him down and get your money back.
After you have decided to buy a car online, your best protection will be your own due diligence. In order to find out the overall condition of the car and to get a comprehensive read about the vehicle’s history, it is advisable to start with the VIN – vehicle identification number. This VIN identifies the car and is the most direct way to find out its history. The moment you have obtained the code, it is recommended to order a report on the car from companies like AutoCheck or CARFAX which will reveal all you need to know about the vehicle that you plan on purchasing.
You will find out if the car has been in an accident or a flood, if one of the airbags has been deployed, previous odometer readings and even if the vehicle has been re-salvaged. After that, you will need to take the car to your personal mechanic to look at it on your behalf. If you don’t know any mechanics, you could take it to independent firms like SGS Automotive Services – they will most likely charge you around $100 and you will have the possibility to hire an inspector to eyeball the vehicle, even in the situation in which the car is located far away from where you live.
It goes without saying that you should stay away from those sellers that will not allow you to take the car to a mechanic because the car is most likely unreliable, just like its owner. Avoid the cars that are sold “as is” because you will be agreeing to take on any problems that might occur, without any warranty to protect you.
There are many situations in which buyers feel more comfortable when heading out to a dealership rather than purchasing from an individual seller. Even in this situation, you might lose the car of your dreams or your deposit. There are many cases in which a potential buyer goes to the dealership, pays a deposit and after that someone else comes, pays in full, and goes home with the car. Even worse than that, there is no guarantee that the person who made the deposit will get his money back because some dealerships will try to hold on to that money by offering you to buy another car. For this reason, you need to remember that a promise doesn’t mean that much in this business.
When you want to make a deposit to buy a car online, you need to play it safe. In other words, never send out a check or make a wire transfer. Why? Because your money will be irretrievable once a check has been cashed or a money order has been collected. It would be best to do the payments over a secured browser (look for a lock icon in the address bar and a URL that begins with “HTTPS”. It is highly recommended to pay with a credit card as you will be protected against any potential frauds.
These credit cards are in most cases the best defense when buying online. If by any chance you do not get the car promised – either because of a fake seller or the dealer sold it to somebody else – you can turn to the credit card company to help you get the money back.
Another secure way to pay would be through PayPal. Use it for drawing money from your credit card and to give the seller of the car a deposit. The maximum amount that you can spend for a one-time transaction is $4,000 and $10,000 if you’re a member.
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