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How to Shop for a Car Online

Buying a car online is not a common practice due to the comparatively high prices of most vehicles. Yet, it is the most convenient way for people who live in remote areas, and the nearest car dealer is thousands of miles away. If this is your case or you prefer to shop for a car online, there are a few points to consider.

First, you should get a good idea of what you are looking for. Today’s auto market is oversaturated with automobiles, especially in developed economies like the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. Here are some questions to answer before you decide to shop for a car online: “Where will I be driving your new auto?” (it makes little sense to buy a speedster if you live deep in the Australian bush); “How long will I use this car?” (the longer it runs, the better value for your money it is) and, last but not least, “Is my new car fuel-efficient?” This question is particularly important. Consider the latest crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which rocketed up the retail price of gasoline in many countries.

Next, you have to find out the going price for your target car, together with its safety ratings, color choices, and options. When you shop for a car online, it is also wise to look at opinion sites for feedback. Check consumer websites and see how the automobile of your choice held up in objective testing. In addition, check the manufacturer’s site for the specifications you want.

Having selected the make and model of your new automobile, you should now take your time to thoroughly check its repair history. Remember that at the beginning of 2010, the leading Japanese carmaker Toyota recalled over half a million vehicles from its dealers around the world. There were numerous complaints of dangerous brake problems. To avoid such an inconvenience, visit the carmaker’s official website and check their latest technical reports.

When you shop for a car online, the price of your new car is also important. Most carmakers readily give information on their retail prices; however, USA citizens and residents have to contact a dealership to get the car. Under current legislation, manufacturers are not allowed to sell directly to the buyers.

If the chosen car is too expensive for you, you can check out the websites of some dealers of little used cars. Naturally, you should pick up a car dealer with a solid background and clear contact details. If the vehicle you want to purchase is not certified by the dealership, you have to look at its used car history. It will tell you if the automobile was stolen and/or involved in accident. The best way to go about this is to order a vehicle history report. The vehicle’s identification number will be used to report on its title history: who owned the car, whether it suffered any damages or collisions, if it was used as a fleet vehicle, etc.

To shop for a car online, you can use the services of auction websites such as eBay. If this is your preferred option, make sure you do a good background check of the seller. Consult your local police department, local automobile association, or the Better Business Bureau if you find something suspicious.

Finally, you should understand that shopping for a car online is very different from say, shopping for books in an online bookstore. The main difference is that your credit card limit will not cover the whole purchase, not to mention that it is hardly appropriate to do it. The interest rate will turn your new car into the most expensive deal in your life. Instead, you should make a reasonable down payment with your check card and use an electronic signature to “sign” a leasing contract with the car dealer.