The Best Way to Buy Used Cars Online
Buying a used car today makes financial sense. Even cars that are just a year or two older are priced significantly lower than brand new vehicles. Older models that have been well-maintained may also be a great deal, and these can save you a considerable amount of money on your new car purchase as well.
While buying a used car is a great option to consider, first you will have to find a good vehicle to purchase. More and more people today are taking steps to purchase their new vehicle through online shopping. The internet offers many opportunities for car buyers to not just shop for cars but to shop for insurance online, too. Simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool above!
Deciding What to Buy
The first step in buying a a used car online is to decide what kind of vehicle you want to buy. When buying a used car, you have greater flexibility to consider a wider range of cars. This is because even those on a fixed budget may be able to afford a luxury vehicle if they look at older models with more miles on them. Deciding which car is best can be accomplished most easily by considering points such as:
- How many passengers do you need to seat comfortably in the car on a regular basis?
- Does your new vehicle need special features such as towing capabilities?
- Are there extra features that you would like to have, such as a sun roof, leather seats, or heated seats?
- What level of fuel efficiency should your new vehicle get?
- Are there brands you prefer, or brands you would like to avoid?
The Cost of Ownership
In addition to asking these questions when looking for a used car to purchase online, you also want to consider the overall cost of ownership. Fuel efficiency is a major consideration to factor into the cost of ownership, but it is not the only one. Consider that generally imported or foreign vehicles as well as older classics will have higher repair costs than newer or domestic models. A vehicle that is still under warranty will have lower repair costs initially. Also consider the cost of insurance. You can easily get rate quotes for a few of the top models that you are considering by using a rate quote comparison website online. These sites are easy to use, and they generally require you to enter in the make, model, and year of the vehicle along with your zip code and a few other details. Reviewing insurance costs before buying online is a step that can save you money on auto insurance throughout the time you own the vehicle.
After you have completed these steps, you may have your choices narrowed down to a few different makes and models. It is a good idea to be open about the vehicle’s age. The age of the vehicle will factor into your financing options and insurance costs, so it should not be ignored.
However, considering vehicles within a certain window, such as from 2007 through 2009, may help you to explore a greater number of vehicles with your online search. There are numerous online search tools that allow you to perform a customized search query of vehicles based on your location, the vehicle type you are searching for, and your budget. Some allow you to choose between vehicles offered through a dealership and those sold directly by the owner.
Shop for Financing
Based on your own budget as well as the vehicles you are interested in purchasing, you may have a good idea about the amount of financing you need to purchase your vehicle. You can easily shop for a car loan while you are seated in front of the computer shopping online for vehicles. An online rate comparison website allows car buyers with a fast and easy way to shop for rates. While it may be tempting to apply for the lowest rate you find, also take a moment to consider the fees and terms of the loan.
Consider the loan that will be the most affordable to you over the life of the loan when fees and interest charges are all taken into account. In many cases, you can apply online. With your financial approval notification, you can then contact sellers and used car dealers for a test drive and prepare to buy a used car.
The Test Drive
Through an online search, you may find several models within a reasonable driving distance of your home that you are interested in. Starting with the vehicle you are most interested in, contact the seller to arrange a test drive. During the test drive, do a quick visual inspection of the vehicle to look for signs it has been well-maintained. You can check for:
- Even wear of tire tread
- A clean engine that appears to be free of fluid leaks
- The body for signs it is in excellent condition
While even an untrained eye can spot numerous issues with a vehicle, it is a good idea to have your own mechanic review the car before you make an offer to purchase it.
You may have done some preliminary price shopping for insurance rates at the time you were determining the cost of ownership of various vehicle makes and models. However, immediately after you purchase your used car, you will then want to do a more thorough job comparing rate quotes and shopping for insurance. Again using a rate quote comparison site, you can more thoroughly compare rate quotes. When shopping for quotes, to get the best price on coverage consider:
- Your state’s minimum insurance requirements
- Raising the deductible to lower the premium
- Making use of discounts offered by different insurance companies
Shopping for a used vehicle online is a convenient way to shop. You can use the website to conveniently decide which model is best for you, to shop for the best vehicle that meets your needs, and even to compare rate quotes for financing and insurance with ease. Simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool below!