At a time where more young adults are purchasing vehicles, many are searching for ways to make the process less painful. Millennials naturally turn to online shopping for many of their essential purchases, including cars. Bloomberg reports that buying a vehicle online is cheaper and simplifies much of the purchasing process that you would experience through a dealership. However, before you go online to purchase your next vehicle, here are 6 Tips to help you through the process…
1. Research beforehand
Regardless if you are familiar with the model of the car that you are considering, do some research ahead of time. Check out what that particular make, model and year is selling for at local dealers in your area. If you are buying off of sites like Craigslist and eBay, see what other sellers are listing their prices as. Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds are two auto research companies that are also reliable for comparing prices and reviews.
Also, make sure to research the vehicle’s seller. The great thing about Craigslist and eBay is that you can scroll through previous buyer reviews of their interactions with the seller. If they seem reliable, then ask to give them a call with questions regarding the vehicle. If their character seems questionable over the phone, you can abort the sale.
2. Ask questions
There is a reason why seller wants to get rid of the vehicle – otherwise, they wouldn’t be selling it in the first place! Be straightforward and ask why. If the seller sounds reasonable, ask to see the copies of the vehicle’s registration, the seller’s Driver’s License, Proof of Insurance, as well as a repair history of all maintenance fixes made on the car. It’s important to know that the vehicle was properly insured and taken care of by its previous drivers.
3. Ask for a test drive
Just like if you were buying the car from a dealership, make sure to ask the owner if you can drive the vehicle prior to purchasing. While all the other selling points involving the vehicle may sound excellent, when you take the car on the road you may find that you do not like the way it drives.
4. Be aware of your surroundings
If you decide to meet a private seller to inspect/test drive the car, make sure the location is public with lots of lighting and activity. That way if the meeting takes a turn for the worse, there will be many eyewitnesses. If you still feel antsy about the idea of meeting the seller alone, make sure to bring a friend to keep you company.
5. Take your time and get an inspection
If you aren’t sold on the vehicle right away, that’s okay. Buying a car, even if it is being purchased online, is a weighty investment. Make sure to let the seller know that you are still interested in the vehicle, but you would like to sleep on it.
In fact, it’s safest to get a second opinion on the vehicle from someone who knows and works on cars. Let the seller know that you are very interested in purchasing the vehicle, but ask if he would allow the vehicle to be inspected before you commit to buying.
6. Do Not pay cash
Any purchase that is made in cash does not leave a reliable proof of purchase. When buying a vehicle with large sums of cash, there must be evidence that the transaction took place for your records and for taxes. Ask the seller if they can meet you at your bank so that you can give them a certified check. This also ensures the seller that the money you are providing is secure. Often times, notary staffers at banks can offer witness signatures and emboss the bill of sale paperwork as well.
And if your car doesn’t come with an extended warranty, look into the affordable and comprehensive plans at TrustmarkWarranty.com. They offer a full complement of warranty options with industry leading coverage, superior customer service, and the endorsement of an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.