Your 4-Point Guide to Purchasing a Car Online

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tips or buying a carDoes the thought of visiting some car dealership to purchase your vehicle terrify you? Fortunately, many dealerships nowadays have Internet sales departments where you can research your preferred cars and negotiate prices from the comfort of your sofa, office or wherever you have an Internet connection – plus, it’s a faster, smarter way of buying your car. The Internet has definitely tipped things in your favor.

Using available online tools, you can find out a host of information like the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), invoice prices, financing, inventory, user reviews, and even how much to ship your chosen car. A car dealer’s Internet sales department knows their customers are educated, and you gain power in four of the most critical aspects of car buying; down-payment, financing, trade, and pricing. Here are a few more tips on how to leverage the power of the Internet to get your dream car, totally bypassing the dealership floor – of course, without the benefit of a test drive and final signing.

Find a Car that’s Right for You

Many people are already using the Internet to find out what car type works best for them and determine as much as possible about particular models, makes, and options available on the market. Make sure you leverage the power of these online search tools for purchasing your car, taking into account your budget, current lifestyle, space, fuel economy even how much it would cost to run the car. In addition, make sure that you carefully read expert and owner ratings and reviews.

Determine Your Budget

Take your time and research the local MSRP of your preferred car, what the dealership is requesting you to pay, its invoice price, or price a dealership is getting from the manufacturer. Researching these parameters will also help you compare different offers from different dealerships. A few tools also have features that allow you to see recent transactions and average prices paid for a car.

tips or buying a car

If you’re worried about ending up going through numerous sites and tools, remember that you can use the results to find a workable price range as you deal with Internet sales managers. Plus, it will also help you spot the best online deals available. Ask the dealership to furnish you with options and fees that may be included in the car’s price; doing this will help you find out if there are any withholding fees like document fees, destination charges or options for your make and model at a dealer’s lot.

Get Your Finances Right

Keep in mind that you should not take dealer financing options at face value. While the writing on the adverts is attractive, most people don’t even qualify. Always shop around your own credit unions and banks so you purchase your vehicle like a cash buyer, skipping the financing option and staying focused on your car’s price instead. While looking into the financing options you have available, focus on Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and not monthly payments.

Price Haggling Online

If you don’t get initial price quotes that fall within your price range, between invoice price and fair market value, ask the dealer to offer you a better price. While evaluating the price quotes you’re getting, ensure that all details are listed in an email, and remember to ask your dealer if there are any other extra fees. Some items like customer service fees are negotiable and may be removed, and when a dealer offers you a price that’s right in your ballpark, email the quote to another dealer for competing bids – this is especially a nifty trick that works when you have a good idea of what exactly the prices include.

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