The automotive sales market has been transformed by the digital age, offering consumers the option to perform their search for new or used cars from the comfort of their homes. Performing a search online can be done in various ways. Consumers have the option to compare prices from the websites of dealerships in their area, or they can utilize one of the many used car websites, which pull from individual sellers and dealerships, as well. There are some key tips to keep in mind when deciding to purchase a vehicle online:
Decide On A Budget
Select the maximum monthly payment you are comfortable with, then filter your search to include cars in this range. Don’t even waste your time by researching cars outside of your realistic budget.
Select A Car That Fits Your Lifestyle
Too many impulsive decisions are made based on look and style alone. If you are a commuter, search for great gas mileage. If you are a parent of three children, search for more room and ample space to transport your children and their belongings.
Beware of Hidden Costs
Keep in mind those additional costs that tend to raise your final cost, such as taxes and other fees. Typically, 10 percent of the base price is a good estimate.
Decide Which Features Are Necessary
Additional features and accessories hike up the total cost of a vehicle pretty quickly. You can always add on some accessories down the road, such as a GPS navigational system or a DVD player.
Shop Around For Financing Options
Ensure you are awarded the best deal. Some dealership sites offer e-prices and specials and even allow you to apply for financing online. It is in a consumer’s best interest to shop around prior to making a final decision.
Cross-Reference Other Online Listings
For example, utilize the free estimate tools at Kelley Blue Book to determine the actual worth of the vehicle you are in the market for.
Take Advantage of Free Car Applications
Take advantage of free applications such as Carfax to run a historical report of the vehicle you have your eye on. This report displays important information including accident history and previous owners.
Research Latest News
Websites such as CarMax.com and UsedCars.com are now providing current news about scams to avoid as a buyer, as well as certified dealerships in your area.
It is reported that over 65 percent of consumers are now performing their new and used vehicle search using online search engines. To aid in this trend, free vehicle search engines are becoming more advanced and personalized, allowing shoppers to compare prices across local dealers, obtain quotes from dealers, and even to share their top choices on their social media pages, bringing their friends and family members into their decision making process.