The Basics of Purchasing a Vehicle Online

Today, almost anything can be bought online, and we can do it anywhere in just minutes with a few clicks or taps. In fact, the Internet drives revolutionary changes in the process of buying cars. Rather than traveling from one dealer to another looking for the perfect vehicle and spending hours negotiating a deal, buyers today are able to visit dozens of dealers in the comfort of their own homes. More often, they can complete much of the process of purchasing a car without ever going out of their house.

Buying a pre-owned or new car online comes with many advantages compared to the traditional process. Many dealerships today have “online sales departments” or are in the process of expanding their online shopping options, making it easier for consumers to research, negotiate, and finalize a vehicle purchase anytime and anywhere.

However, some might be hesitant to buy a vehicle online, particularly for pre-owned cars. One reason is that they will not be able to check the car if there are any issues. But this is also quite easy to do online today as there are services you can use to learn about a car’s history, like vin check. It is an easy-to-use online platform that can give people a comprehensive vehicle history report about the car they are eyeing to purchase.

If you are looking into buying a car online but don’t have any idea about the steps that you should take, we are here to guide you. In this article, we are giving you some of the basics when it comes to purchasing a vehicle online.

Plan Your Budget

inside a car dealership

Before you begin with the online buying process for the car that you want, there are important tasks that you need to take care of first. One of those is planning your budget. If you do not know how much you can spend, it will be challenging to choose what vehicle to buy. Your budget should not be thought of as your monthly payment. What you need to consider is the total cost of the vehicle, including the interest that you will pay over the term of your loan. In addition to that, you also need to consider all of the other costs of putting the vehicle on the road, such as fuel, maintenance, insurance, and even parking.

Also, if you have a current vehicle that is not yet fully paid for, that money should be paid back before you buy a new car or as part of your financing process. Keep in mind that not all vehicles costs the same to insure. Therefore, it is also a good idea to consider the cost of insurance for any models that you are eyeing.

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

In addition to planning your budget, another important thing you need to do before you approach a car dealership is to have a pre-approved financing deal in hand. This way, you will be able to set a reasonable price range, as well as provide dealers a benchmark deal that they need to beat if they want to be the ones to give the financing for your new or used vehicle. It is also now easy to get a pre-approved financing deal online. You can shop at credit unions, banks, and other lenders or pick a site that can give you offers from different lenders in just one application. Some might even provide you with tips on how to get the best deal.

Look for the Right Vehicle Model

There are buyers who know exactly what type of vehicle they want, even the color and trim, before they begin to shop. But others have no idea what car they want, and they need some guidance to find a vehicle that will fit their needs and budget. There are many sites out there where you can find reviews and articles about vehicles detailing the best about them. You can also check out a car auction marketplace online that offers more than 200,000 vehicles for sale. You will be able to find an option suitable for your budget. For example, buyers can purchase used cars under 2000.

It is still a good idea to see the vehicle you want to buy in person before you sign a sales contract. This way, you can ensure that it looks as good in person as it does on photos posted online. You may also request a test drive to get a feel for the car. However, if you can’t go to see it personally, you can then ask a salesperson from the dealership to take some photos or maybe videos of the vehicle for you.

Research About the Value of Trading Your Used Car

Learning about the value of your trade and being open to other ways of liquidating your used car can also give you more money toward the price of the new vehicle. There are various ways to liquidate your used car. One is that you can trade it at the dealership where you are buying a car. You also have the option to sell it privately for cash.

Reach Out to Local Dealerships for Price Quotations

Reach Out to Local Dealerships for Price Quotations

When you are done researching online, it is time to contact dealerships to get some price quotes. Lots of dealerships have departments dedicated to online sales, as these are becoming common these days. Sometimes they will give you the option to send an email or fill out a contact form on the website. Either way, these will help you reach someone from the company to quote you a price.

The more price quotes you have, the more control you will have when it comes to closing the deal. But there are also times when dealers will be unwilling to provide you with their best price without being certain that you are going to purchase the vehicle from them. One of the best tips that you can do is be specific about the model and options. Once you get responses, compare them to one another and see which is the best deal that will work for you.

Negotiate a Car Price Online

For some people, negotiating the price of a new car is quite challenging as these are uncomfortable processes. But when you purchase a vehicle online, you can be saved from those painful tasks. There are some online vehicle purchases that involve no negotiating at all. On the other hand, to be able to get the best price and deal, you might feel the need to negotiate.

At this point, you’ve done your research, and you are now well-prepared to negotiate your online purchase. You have decided what vehicle to buy, and you have the idea of what consumers like you are paying for it. You have also seen the deals available in your area, and you have arranged your financing.

As an online price negotiator, there are lots of advantages in store for you. One is that you are not engaged in face-to-face interaction with salespeople. This means that there will be no sales pressure. You can also start the negotiation process via email, chat on the website, or by telephone. You will also have the chance to negotiate with different dealers at the same time.

Sign the Contract and Drive Your New Car

After you get the best deal for the vehicle that you want, you should now be working with the dealership that has your car. You may still need to visit the dealership to finalize the bill of sale, sign financing papers, and get your keys and car. But there are also lots of dealerships today that deliver the vehicle along with the paperwork right to your driveway, allowing everything to be completed at your home.

No matter which option you choose, always read and understand the contract before signing. See if all the numbers are correct, and if you see additional charges, don’t be afraid to ask for explanations.


Purchasing a vehicle online can indeed save you time and money. By using the information that is available online to your advantage, you can remove all the hassles and stresses of negotiating for the car that you want to buy. Therefore, if you are looking for speed, convenience, and lack of hassle, purchasing a vehicle online is perfect for you.