Tips for Buying a Used Car Online
If you are in the market for a used car, you have probably considered using the Internet as one of your options. But you may be unsure how safe this is. Will you get ripped off? How honest are the dealers who advertise online? If you would like to shop online for a used car, here are a few tips.
- Make sure you use reputable websites.
There are many used car sites online. You should go with ones that are well known, places such as eBay, Autos.com, and Craigslist, or maybe online listings of your local newspaper.
You can refine your online searches to very detailed specifications, things such as color and mileage of the car.
To get the best results from your search, you should not rely on just one site, but use several websites to see all of the possibilities that are out there. Also, the further you are willing to travel, the greater the likelihood that you will find the car with the specifications you want.
- Check the site’s seller reviews.
Once you have narrowed the choice of vehicles, take a look at the reviews for the sellers of those vehicles. Are they generally positive or negative? Were other customers happy with their purchases and their experience with the sellers?
- Check the cars.
You can do a history check on each of the cars you are considering purchasing. If you are buying from a dealer, you can get a document called a its vehicle history report, which has the history of the car’s ownership, sales, if it was ever stolen, if it was flooded, or stolen.
If you are buying the car from a private party, get the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This will enable you to obtain the vehicle’s history via a site such as CARFAX.com. You will pay a fee (usually between $30-$40), but this information is invaluable. After all, do you really want to purchase a car that was stolen? You may not want to purchase a car that once as a rental. You still may want to purchase the vehicle, but knowing it’s history can help you know what you may be getting into in regards to the car’s possible issues.
You also should ask the seller directly if the car needs any work. You can even ask the seller if he or she would allow the car to be inspected by a mechanic before you purchase it. If the seller balks, that could be a red flag that something is wrong with the car.
- Try to negotiate on price.
Even if the seller states in the ad that the price is not negotiable, you have nothing to lose to see if you can haggle a little over price. You can use your research online to help you as well. If you have seen similar vehicles online for lower cost, you can bring that up to the seller. Or, if the seller has been advertising the car for a longer period of time without any offers, this could work to your advantage in negotiating.
When looking for a used car in the greater Dallas region, look online but don’t forget to visit the