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The Advantages of Shopping for a Car Online

You may already shop for books, gifts, clothing, or even groceries online. However, have you thought about buying something as large as a car? You can save a great deal of time, money, and energy by starting your search for a new or used car online. From researching your options to negotiating with dealers, you can go through a great deal of the process online before ever setting foot on the lot. The following are a few ways that shopping around online can give you an advantage.

Comparison Tools

The internet provides a treasure trove of information for car buyers. As you start your search, you can read reviews of different models on listings sites like or car magazines. This can help you narrow down what you’re looking for. You can also use pricing guides like to find out what the average used prices are for a particular vehicle, or even find out how much dealers are paying for new models. With these vehicle statistics and consumer ratings, you’ll be armed with information that can help you choose the right car and negotiate with a dealer. You’ll be far less likely to get talked into extras you don’t need.

More Relaxed Experience

Many buyers get nervous in the high-pressure environment of an automotive showroom. Although viewing a car and taking it for a test drive is a good way to find out if it could be a good fit for your lifestyle, you’ll also have the pressure of speaking to a professional salesman. You’ll spend money driving back and forth to dealerships, and you may feel pressured into signing up for an extended warranty, a higher trim level, or other extras that you would not have bought on your own. Shopping online gives you the time and space to find a better deal and purchase only those extras that you truly want.

Online Broker Services

It’s impossible to buy a new car directly from the factory as a consumer, thanks to franchise laws. Even if you purchase online, you will still need to go through a dealer. However, there are online brokers and referral services that can handle this negotiation for you, shopping around to get the best rates on your behalf. This can yield discounts that you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to, for a price as close to factory-floor as possible.

Auction Sites

Another way to avoid the dealership is to purchase through auction or person-to-person sites, like or Craigslist. These allow you to negotiate the sale on your own terms, after conducting research to find out what the best make, model, and price will be for your needs. Although you can get a great deal from a private seller, there is also a higher degree of risk inherent in this option so it’s best to view the car and get it inspected by a third party if possible before making your purchase.

Whether you plan to use online price comparison websites to find the best price on a new car or purchase a used model entirely over the internet, there are a number of ways to take advantage of the wealth of tools available. These can also be used to purchase cheaper car insurance and parts, saving you on long-term running costs.

One Comment

  1. I think one of the best advantages of shopping for a car online is that I can be as bold or as big of a jerk as I want to online. Negotiating face to face is something that intimidates me, but I can certainly negotiate in the online realm. There I am a juggernaut who has the freedom to say what I want without hurting the feelings of a car salesperson. We buy so many other things online why should a car be out of the question?

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