With the prices of new cars in the US plummeting and gas prices hitting new highs, it’s a tough time for car shoppers, and the new season of shopping online has been made even tougher.
But what if you can get around those costs by buying online?
Here are seven ways to do just that.1.
Online shopping is a must for any car buyer, says Neel Mehta, a managing director at retail consultancy, PNC Financial Services.
But the big question is: Do you need to be a shopper to buy online?
“When people think of buying online, it is usually accompanied by the assumption that you are going to need a credit card to do so, and that is not necessarily true,” he says.
“When you look at what you are actually paying, it becomes quite clear that you can actually buy online.”2.
There are two main ways to buy cars online: Pay by credit card and by cheque.
There’s no need to worry about your bank account.
“If you buy online, you don’t have to worry,” says Mark Zappulla, an online shopping consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“You can just buy with your credit card, and you will have the ability to buy your car online.”3.
The most popular way to buy an online car is with a credit or debit card.
If you have a debit card, there’s no reason not to pay for your car with it, says Paul Pfeiffer, a Toronto-based retail broker.
You can also buy an auto loan online, which is another option, he says, though it can be a hassle if you have to provide your address and your Social Security number.4.
Buying online is also a good way to avoid the dreaded cash-back offer.
You might have heard of a new online auto finance company called CarFinder, which lets you use your credit or bank account to buy the vehicle online.
It is not affiliated with any auto company, says Pfeifer.
You will not get cashback.
“We are not involved with any other car financing companies and we are not part of any car financing websites,” he explains.5.
If buying an online vehicle, you might need to do a little research to make sure you can find the right vehicle.
“There is a big difference between finding the right car online and looking at a lot of cars,” says Mehtab.
You should look at every model and make sure it meets your needs, he adds.6.
Online shoppers can get a little more precise about their car’s specifications.
“A lot of online shoppers will be looking for information about the interior,” says Pohlad.
“They might look at the mileage, or look at how the engine operates.”
This will tell them what the car is made of, what it costs, and what its expected fuel economy is, says Meath.
“This information is typically provided by the manufacturer,” says Neal Mehtas, an expert on automotive finance at the Royal Bank of Canada.7.
Buys online can be cheaper than when buying the car yourself, thanks to the convenience of mobile phones.
But it’s not a one-time deal.
“Buying online can give you a little bit of peace of mind,” says John Condon, a finance manager at Citi.
“It’s a little easier to get in touch with the person who has the car,” he adds, since you can easily track it on your phone.
“And you don-t have to pay extra.”
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