Home RC car buying guide Buying a Car Online? Read These Tips First!

Buying a Car Online? Read These Tips First!

9 min read
Buying a Car Online

Buying cars online is nothing new in this age of internet; nonetheless, most buyers don’t have the proper knowledge and confidence required to buy something as significant as a car from an online store. There is no denying that purchasing a car online can be a smooth and transparent process, but the auto industry has moved to change the process and made the waters a bit muddier.

While savvy buyers can feel like they have the upper hand armed with more information than ever before, there is a possibility of falling prey to misleading advertisements. We have done our research so that you don’t have to and have come up with some tips that will surely help you.

Seller’s Credibility

When you’re browsing cars online, it is very important that the car that listed belongs to legitimate seller or dealer. If you’re based in the USA, you can check the seller’s history with the Better Business Bureau. Going over the ratings will reveal the true nature of the seller and will help you find out if you’re working with a seller that will deliver the car in accordance the terms.


Ask Questions

Just because you’re buying a car online does not mean you cannot ask questions to the seller. And the type of questions you ask does not depend on whether you are buying a used Honda or a second-hand Mercedes, they are all important to you and the seller. What we’ve seen work for other buyers is to make a check list and call the seller’s number and ask every question one by one. Some important questions could include:

Can I see the service history books? (used car)

How many owners did the car have? (used car)

Have there been any accidents? (used car, also check elsewhere to verify)


Shop Around

There are numerous websites that provide market comparison for the type of cars you are planning to buy. For example, for Americans, Consumer Reports provides pricing reports for a small price. From their reports, you can start negotiating and hopefully you will be awarded a good deal. There are other websites that do not charge anything in providing market and target prices. For instance, edmunds.com , cars.com , and KBB.com are a good place to look. These websites will give you information regarding other dealers that have the same car in stock.


End of the Month is the Best Time

Since online sellers run their business pretty much like a brick and mortar shop in terms of profits and sales targets, you are more likely to striking a better deal at the end of the month. Around this time of the month, car dealers are hungry for sales and amenable to offering free extras and discounts. So, plan your purchase.


Make Sellers Compete

Let’s say you have found a car that you like but the price is out of your budget. In this case, you might call the seller and offer a price that get turned down. But if you call them and ask them to match a competitor’s price, you will most likely get a better deal. This is why you should try to be in touch with multiple sellers before buying and you will find yourself a sweet deal.

What about the Loan

You will often times find cars listed for a very cheap price if purchased on finance. There’s always a catch. Read the fine print and find out the interest rate and other terms and conditions of the loan. Chances are the interest rate will be very high hence the low price for the car. Steer clear of these kinds of deals since you will be paying more than you should.


Secure Online Payment

If you are making a small deposit to get the dealer to hold a car for you, make sure the deposit is fully refundable if the car sold to someone else. After all it is a better idea to make a deposit and then inspect the car in person than paying the full amount only find out major issues later on. It is recommended to use a credit card to get limited liability in the event of fraud.



Buying a car online requires more time and patience than shopping for clothes and electronics on eBay. Needless to say, trust yourself and go with your gut instinct. Remember: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a seller is dodgy, there will be warning signs and you should be able to pick them from online reviews, phone contacts, terms and other factors.

Keeping records (initial quotes, discount offers, interest rates, phone conversations and receipts etc.) is very important especially for such a big transaction. It may seem daunting to conduct such a transaction online so take every step very carefully. Purchasing a car online is no small feat. You can save a lot of money if you put in the extra effort and time using the internet to your advantage.

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