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How To Buy A Car Online

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Decide If You Want To Apply For Preapproval

How to Buy a New Car ONLINE in 2020

When buying a car, you can choose to finance the car or pay for some or all of the vehicle price outright.

If youre financing the vehicle, you can wait to negotiate directly with the seller or apply for preapproval for a loan beforehand from a third-party lender like a bank or credit union. But remember, preapproval is conditional and doesnt guarantee loan approval.

Contact several lenders to shop around and compare terms, like interest rates, financing terms and maximum loan amount. This can help you save money in the long run.

If youre buying a car online directly from a dealership, you may consider giving the dealership a chance to beat the rate that you saw from another lender.

Pay Attention To The Details

Many dealer websites even have a tool that will calculate your current car’s trade-in value, which can help drop the total price oo the new car you’re looking to buy. While most people trust the resale value for their vehicle as listed in the Kelley Blue Book, many dealers also use the National Automobile Dealers Association’s listed trade-in value.

You can look up your particular car on either of these organizations’ websites by plugging in your car’s condition and mileage this will keep the dealer honest. If the dealer’s website offers you a trade-in value that deviates drastically from either the KBB or the NADA, you may wish to decline and sell the car yourself.

Another important detail to look for when shopping for cars online is whether the dealers website lists the Vehicle Identification Number along with the vehicles photo. If you can’t find the VIN, chances are the dealer doesn’t actually have the car on the lot and the price will reflect that they have to order it.

Also, look for real photos and not just stock photos from the manufacturer. The dealer may have a photo of a silver model you’re eying, but when they deliver the car: Surprise! It’s green.

Trade In Your Existing Vehicle

If youre making your purchase from a dealers online sales department and want to trade in your existing vehicle, you may still need to make a trip to the dealership. During this visit, your car will be assessed and appraised, and the dealer may make an offer on the vehicle.

You can get an idea beforehand how much a dealer may give you for your trade-in, in the case that the dealership offers an online tool to estimate the value of your current vehicle.

Things are different with online platforms. First of all, not all online platforms handle vehicle trade-ins. But for ones that do, the process may be able to be handled online depending on the company.

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Can You Buy A Car With A Credit Card

If you dont have cash on hand to buy a car, then you could choose a car loan instead. But you may be wondering if you can use a credit card to make the purchase.

The short answer is, possibly, depending on the card you plan to use, your card limit, and what the card issuer allows. Its possible that you may be able to charge the down paymentor the entire vehicle purchase, if you have a high enough credit limitto your card.

So whats the advantage of using a credit card to buy a car?

You may be able to earn rewards on the amount that you charge, which could save you money. For example, say you have a rewards card that pays 1% cash back on purchases. If you were to charge a $10,000 vehicle purchase, then you could earn $100 back in rewards.

What you have to consider, however, is the trade-off that you might be making when it comes to interest. If you have good credit, then you may be able to qualify for a car loan at a lower interest rate than what youll pay for credit card purchases. If the card also has an annual fee, then the costs involved could easily outweigh any benefits that you would get in terms of rewards or convenience.

Calculate What You Can Afford

5 Tips for Buying a Used Car Online

Let Your Budget Do the Driving

When considering a new vehicle purchase, the lines of affordability can easily become blurred due to the varied financing options available. A wise buyer shops for a new vehicle based upon what he or she can truly afford. Keep an open mind and you could be pleasantly surprised by the list of vehicles within your price range.

Affordability is a multi-faceted issue because the car-buying process can consist of several financial considerations. It will help if you determine, accurately and honestly, what your current car is worth, how much of a down payment you can make and a reasonable amount you can handle for monthly payments. Some careful thought and cold, hard honesty will pay big benefits later. Far too many buyers shop for cars that are beyond their budgets, want small down payments, drastically misjudge their capabilities regarding monthly payments and then want to reduce the monthly payments by stretching out the lengths of the loans, all of which leads to trouble in the future.

Another key element is deciding what to do with the current car? As a general rule, it may be worth more when you sell it yourself to a private party, rather than trade it in. But many people dont want to take the time and make the effort to do that. Understand that if you trade it in, you will probably not get as much for it as if you sell it yourself.

Calculating Affordability

  • The trade-in value of the vehicle I currently own is $10,400.
  • Loan Amount

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    How The Process Works

    In light of COVID-19, we have made it possible to place a car purchase online. However, keep in mind our dealership is still open, and our dealers take great care to follow all federal and state COVD-19 guidelines. If you choose to keep the process purely online, then follow these steps:

  • Browse our inventory and select your desired Porsche model, including trim, color, and any add-on accessories
  • Speak with one of our representatives using our online chat tool
  • Browse our sites financial section and fill out your contact and financial information
  • If trading your current car, use our online calculator to value your trade
  • After the above steps are finalized, schedule the delivery of your new Porsche vehicle
  • The online process also applies to leases as well as the purchase of a pre-owned or Certified Pre-Owned vehicle.

    What Is A Car Subscription

    You know that you can buy or lease a car, but did you know you can get many of the advantages of car ownership while avoiding many of the hassles? What are we talking about, you ask? Vehicle subscriptions are a relatively new way to put yourself behind the wheel of a new vehicle.

    A car subscription is a new take on an old business model. In exchange for a premium, car subscriptions relieve customers of the many expenses and irritations of car ownership while delivering all the advantages of having a car. Repairs and maintenance, license and registration fees, smog checks, car insurance all those things go out the window when you subscribe to a vehicle.

    Car manufacturers, auto dealers, car rental companies, and internet startups have launched various car subscription services and apps. All are trying to figure out how to serve customers best and at the same time profit from the subscribe-to-a-car idea. That last thing has proven difficult for many of them.

    Subscribing to a car is not for everyone. In fact, as many car manufacturers and Internet entrepreneurs have discovered, it might be an idea whose time will never come. But if the idea of subscribing to a car appeals to you, learn more about how car subscriptions work.

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    How Does Car Home Delivery Work

    Where home delivery is available, youll see our home delivery icon on the advert.

    Youll typically arrange the delivery date and time with the dealership. Note some dealerships may charge extra for home delivery, so check before you commit. When the car arrives, give it a proper inspection before you sign and make sure the car is as described.

    Most Car Buyers Shop Online Buy In Person

    How to buy a car online

    The car buying advisers and consumer advocates at Edmunds, Popular Mechanics and Kelley Blue Book all recommend, at the very least, to “shop”for your next car online. This is actually less like shopping and more like research.

    Whether you are perusing a dealership’s website or the many car buying sites available, you should be able to find the following important information during your search:

    • The type of car or truck you’d like to own
    • The safety and other features that are important to you
    • The car’s MSRP or sticker price
    • The invoice price

    With this information, you can compare dealer to dealer and car to car, finding the best deals possible. You will find different results using different online tools, and that’s the point. Don’t be discouraged if one website tells you a car is $5,000 more than your budget. The next hit may be in the Goldilocks zone.

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    Online Financing Vs Dealership Financing

    Getting a loan through a dealership involves less work but you can typically get your funding in less time.

    How to finance online

    The trick to making a great deal with online financing is to get preapproval for a car loan. With preapproval in your pocket, you can simply tell the dealer that you have a better loan offer and ask if its willing to match the terms.

    Before you start on the preapproval process, youll want to know what type of car youre interested in and be prepared to submit multiple online applications to different lenders.

    Also, consider researching car loans vs. personal loans. Each offers its own benefits and, much like qualifying for preapproval, are useful when youre ready to buy a car.

    How to finance with a dealer

    Dealership financing is convenient, but that doesnt mean youll be getting the best deal. In fact, there is often a big price gap between dealer financing and car loans. Thats because dealers are more like loan brokers they go through a bank and then mark up the interest rate to make a profit.

    A good way to get a bargain with dealership financing is to bring your other loan offers to the negotiating table. If youre able to show that another lender is willing to offer you a lower interest rate with better terms, youll have the upper hand. If the salesperson wants to finance your car, theyll either need to match the price or offer you a lower rate.

    Should I Test Drive A New Car Before I Buy

    There are undoubtedly many benefits to test driving a car before you buy, and discussing the nitty-gritty details of a vehicle with a dealer on the forecourt. But buying online doesnt mean you cant still test drive as many cars as you wish before you make your decision.

    Many manufacturers offer extended 24-48 hour test drives with the car delivered to your home, particularly when registration plates change or a new model is introduced, so you can experience a brand that’s completely new to you without having to approach an unfamiliar showroom.

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    What Are The Pros And Cons Of Buying A Car Online

    Buying a car online is safe, comfortable, uncomplicated, and convenient. In the future, buying online is the way a large portion of the car market will go. It saves you valuable time and energy that you spend in visiting different dealerships or arranging car collection. But there are other significant benefits too.

    You can compare savings from across the country with fixed prices, so there’s no awkward haggling. It’s quick and convenient. You can find and order your car, then apply for finance in just 30 minutes if you so wish. It gives you an option to choose from a bigger range, while freeing you from geographically restrictions, as most of the dealerships can deliver the car to you and offer a reasonable return policy.

    The most significant disadvantage of buying a car online is not being able to drive and feel it before the purchase. But this problem can be solved by arranging a test drive or visiting manufacturer’s virtual tours. If you do want to get behind the wheel, be sure to book an appointment in advance as vehicles are being thoroughly sanitised between customers to keep everyone safe and well.

    The Online Price Haggle

    Should I buy a car online or at the dealer?

    If none of the initial price quotes you receive fall within your range between the fair market value and the invoice price, you can use those two numbers to again ask dealers for their best prices.

    Its best to ask first whats the dealers best offer. You dont have to share any details of other offers or negotiations that youre in with another dealer unless its to your advantage, DeLorenzo says. Use those figures to ask if the dealer can beat the other deals. If not, remember you are in control and can take your business elsewhere.

    Be sure any price quotes are itemized in an email, and remember to ask whether any extra fees are withheld or included. Items such as customer service fees, options and add-ons which are negotiable and can be removed can tack thousands on to your overall price.

    If one dealer gives you a price you like, you can email the quote to another dealer to get competing bids, especially if you know exactly what each price quote includes.

    Insider tip: Never quote your monthly payment budget to a car salesperson. That allows the dealer to pack whatever they can into your quoted payment and still meet your budget. Dont mention your trade-in or any financing at first, either. These variables give the salesperson leverage in negotiations. Instead, stay focused only on the actual price of the vehicle to bring it down.

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    How To Shop For A Car Online

    Now that you’ve determined the type of vehicle you need and want, and you know what you can afford to pay, and you’ve got your financing arranged , it is time to shop for a car online.

    For most Americans, the internet has become the chosen path for car shopping. Its breadth and reach allow you to see hundreds of vehicles in a matter of minutes. It is available to you at any hour of any day of any week, even when dealerships are shut tighter than a drum, enabling you to shop for a new or used car whenever it is convenient for you.

    For example, JDPower.com supplies access to millions of new and used vehicles you can shop for online.

    Of course, just because online car shopping is simple and available to you doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply some discipline to find the best car and the best deal. If you hope to land on the vehicle that will best suit your needs, your finances, and your lifestyle, you should approach the process with the idea of accomplishing tasks in a logical way.

    To narrow your online car shopping to find the actual vehicle you are going to buy, be sure to read our How to Shop for a Car Online article. Using our recommendations to locate vehicles for sale that match all your buying criteria year, make, model, price, equipment, color will take you to the end of your online shopping journey.

    Now you’re ready to begin the online price negotiation process.

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    Get An Inspection From An Independent Mechanic

    If youre buying a used car, whether at a dealership or from someone you found on Craigslist, you should absolutely get an inspection first. Everyone has heard horror stories about buying a lemon . The seller will surely tell you that the car is in perfect shape, but how do you really know? Getting an auto inspection by an independent mechanic is perhaps one of the best ways to protect yourself.

    If youre unable to take the car to your own mechanic, DeLorenzo recommends a service from AiM Certify. For as little as $129, you can book an independent mechanic anywhere in the country to travel to the dealership and perform an inspection for you. Youll get back a full mechanical report complete with actual photos of the car.

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