When you buy a vehicle online, you start out by browsing various dealers’ websites and comparing prices on the models you’re interested in. This puts you at an advantage as a buyer because you can use the price at one dealership to get a lower price from another. It gives you extra bargaining power. But buying used cars online has its downsides as well. Here are seven reasons why buying a used car online could be a bad idea.
1. There is no substitute for a good ole test drive. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you still have to visit each dealer to test drive the vehicles. This may mean more driving for you than if you had just gone to the closest dealers to look at cars.
2. It can be hard to get good pictures of the vehicle. When shopping online, you need to see the vehicle from all angles to make sure it is in good condition. There may not be photos of every part of the car.
3. Not everyone has a good experience with shopping online for a used vehicle. If you check the reviews for online dealerships, you are likely to find both good and bad reviews for each dealer. Buying a car online does not protect you from shady practices.
4. When buying a car from out of state, it may not be compliant with the emissions regulations in your own state. You might not realize this until you get the car and it fails the emissions test.
5. Another downside of buying from out of state is the delivery fees. It can be quite expensive to get a car delivered from another state.
6. As with buying a car at a dealership in person, there is paperwork that must be completed, and some dealerships require an old-fashioned (not electronic) signature. This means meeting with the dealership, either at your home or their location, to finalize the paperwork.
7. If your car is being delivered, you may have to wait days or weeks for delivery. This could set you back, especially if you are selling or have sold your prior vehicle already.
For some buyers, online sites like Carvana and Vroom may provide exactly the buying experience they’re looking for, but most of us still like to visit the dealership and kick the tires before making such an important decision.
At Auto Action, you get the best of both worlds. Our inventory is online for browsing, but you can still come visit the dealership for an old-fashioned test drive.