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Buying A Used Car Online – Is It A Good Idea?

The internet in all it’s convenient glory has given us access to everything from daily entertainment to the ability to shop without ever having to leave the sofa. Nowadays, you can even purchase or finance a new used car right from your laptop or mobile, but purchasing a new book on Amazon is a much smaller commitment than buying a car – so is it a good idea? From the risk of scams to not truly knowing what you’re buying, the concerns about buying a used car online are understandable, but is it all as bleak as it seems? Find out, below.

The Pros

Let’s start with the positives – it’s not all worry and gloom when it comes to purchasing a used car online. Even before Covid-19 and the surge in online sales we’ve seen in recent months, remote car buying was growing in popularity. Why, you ask? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Convenience

The ability to hop online from your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone and get searching for your next car is undeniably more convenient than having to trek out to a nearby used car dealership. All of the information you could want on the vehicle is right there in front of you, written out to make it easier to look back over the details while making the decision. What’s more, you don’t have to fit a visit to the dealership in with your day. Buying used cars online means that you can search up what you want, whenever you want, with 24 hour access to listings on the web. 

  • No Sales Tactics

While some live to tackle the hard-pressing salespeople at a dealership, not all of us are cut out for pushing back their pressure. When shopping online, the most pressure you’ll receive is a limited time offer or the odd email reminding you the car is still available. You can shop at your leisure, do the research as you see fit and all without the hassle of a salesperson.

  • Better Access To What You Want

Have a particular make and model in mind? You aren’t always guaranteed to find that make or model nearby, which is why remote car sales are sometimes the way forward for used cars. You can have access to a wider pool of vehicles available to you, including rare or older models that might not usually be available. Better yet, they’ll be delivered to your door, meaning you won’t need to travel miles to pick it up.

  • Easier To Compare

With all of the information right there in front of you, it’s much easier to compare vehicles, even if they’re from different dealerships or sellers. You can see the information right there on your screen, even side by side if you wanted, to make a better informed decision without hopping between dealerships or dealing with pushy sales tactics while you make the decision at hand.

The Cons

While remote used car sales are somewhat more convenient, there are risks involved with purchasing a car online, particularly a used one. From scams or bad deals, to just not knowing what you’re buying until it’s at your proverbial doorstep, there are some who won’t take those risks on such a big purchase. 

  • Won’t See The Car Before Purchase

The biggest worry when it comes to buying a car online, particularly a used one, is that you won’t see the car before you buy it beyond pictures. In some cases, an online dealership might take you on a virtual tour of the vehicle if you were to ask, but even then, you won’t be able to experience the car first hand. You can’t test the seats or how it feels to drive, and you might miss little faults that don’t show in the pictures provided.

  • Stock Images Could Be Used

It’s not unheard of for sellers to use stock images of the vehicle their selling in adverts, or for dealerships to use stock images to represent more than one of the same model. In those cases, you won’t be seeing the actual vehicle you’re buying, meaning you can’t see any dirty, grime, damage or other features that you’d usually be able to seeing the car in person.

  • Delivery/Waiting Times

While having the vehicle delivered to your door is good in some ways, it also means that you’ll usually have to wait for it to turn up. There’s no driving the car away the same day, and there are often fees associated with delivery of the vehicle, which can sometimes be steep. Different companies or dealerships will have different time scales or costs associated with delivery, so it’s best to make sure you’re doing your research before making a purchase.

Be Cautious

Overall, it’s important to make sure that you’re being cautious and taking precautions if you do opt for purchasing a car online. Whether you have no way of making it to a dealership or you’re still staying home as much as possible, buying used cars online is still a good way to get a deal if done properly. 

  • Get the car checked

If you do purchase a used car online and everything appears to be in order, it’s important to book it in at a garage for a service or checks to ensure that the vehicle is safe to drive and that nothing is amiss. Our garages are happy to provide services on used vehicles – all you need to do is book an appointment.

  • Do your research

Finally, you need to make sure that you are doing sufficient research into the company you’re looking to buy from. Check their delivery policies, their returns policies, any insurances or warranties and most importantly, check reviews from other customers to see the quality of the vehicles and of their customer service. 

For more information about how we can help with your new used car, get in touch with a member of our team, today.