Times have evolved in the way we all shop for things from household stuff to tech stuff, food and even to how we buy cars. As the world is plunged into a common war against Covid-19 with many countries still practising some kind of lockdown and social distancing, more and more people have turned to the internet for all their shopping needs.  Gone are the days of hoping from dealer to dealer looking for the perfect car, truck or SUV that we want and negotiating for the best deal on the vehicle. Today’s car buyers can visit endless number of dealers without having to leave home. Even the documentation can be completed online with electronic signatures being accepted and more dealers are willing to bring the car right to your home.  

Whether you’re looking at new vehicles or used ones, here are five simple steps to follow when buying a car online. 

1) Set a Budget

This is the first and foremost step – decide on a budget for your vehicle. 

2) Get A Pre-approved Loan

Always get a hire purchase loan pre-approved before you shop for your dream car.  With a pre-approved loan in hand, you’ll be in a better position to tell dealers your budget and this gives dealers a benchmark deal they must beat if they want to be the ones providing the financing for your new or used car.

3) Search Outside Your Area

One of the benefits of shopping online is you can search for vehicles outside of your area or even hundreds of miles away.  When you look for dealerships beyond your area, you might find something that you love that is not available at your area and at a better price, even with car shipping added to the price.

4) Get a Free Vehicle History Report

As you browse a dealer’s used car inventory, look for links to free CARFAX Reports. If a link is unavailable, request for a free report from the dealer. Free CARFAX Reports are available at many car dealerships in your area. CARFAX provides a detailed report of how many owners a car has had and how many accidents a car has been in. However, be aware that CARFAX isn’t always accurate or complete due to clerical and insurance errors.

4) Have Used Cars Independently Inspected

This step is important if you intend to buy a used car online long-distance from a private seller or dealership.  You can arrange for an independent mechanic to go to the seller’s location to inspect the car for extra peace of mind.

5)  Decide How You’ll Get Your New Car

If you’re buying a car online through a dealership website or from a third-party service, they can arrange for the car to be delivered to your home or work place.  There are many things to consider when selecting an auto transport company to transport your car, ranging from price, security to availability, but the first step you need to take in finding the right company for you is deciding which type of car shipping service you need.  Compare prices and check online reviews to find a shipping company that you trust.  

Whether you shop online for convenience or for a better selection, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do the due diligence before closing this important business transaction.  All the best shopping online for your dream car!