Beware Buying Used Cars Online

Today it’s possible to handle the tasks associated with purchasing a new or used car from the comfort of your home. You’ll generally have two options during the online car-buying experience: purchasing the vehicle from your local dealership’s internet sales department or buying your car from an online platform. Should you find what appears to be a great deal on a highly desirable vehicle, if you’re thinking about buying a used car online, there are reasons to be cautious. You want to keep these things in mind before transferring your hard-earned cash:

  • Look for listings that have multiple quality pictures. There should be pictures of many different angles of the car, interior and exterior. If there are barely any pictures, it can be a sign that the seller is omitting a problem area. If you’re serious about the purchase, don’t be afraid to ask for more photos, and feel free to be specific about what you’d like to see.
  • It will take a decent amount of time for your vehicle to get delivered to you. Sadly, there isn’t a two-day shipping option like there is with Amazon. If you purchase your vehicle at a dealership however, you’ll be driving off the lot the same day. There is a chance that the warranty for the vehicle you purchase online is very limited, and it may expire by the time it gets to you. Be sure to ask detailed questions.
  • If the person or organization that you are buying a car from online is unwilling to provide a free copy of the vehicle’s history report, they are not to be trusted and you shouldn’t purchase from them.
  • State regulations for motor vehicles vary from state to state. If you purchase a car online in one state and have it delivered to your state, it might not comply with things like emission standards. Paperwork can also be tricky when you buy used cars online. Each state has its own paperwork requirements, and some don’t accept electronic signatures. Be sure to do your research, else a “great deal” might not be so great in the end.

The bottom line is that unless you see the car and inspect it for yourself, there’s no way of knowing the true condition of the car. There is a possibility of ending up with a car that has a malfunction or even an issue the seller themselves are unaware of. It can be a gamble, and it’s good to have as much information as possible to deduce if it’s really worth it.