It’s never been easier to buy a car with the plethora of online car-buying options available today, but should you buy online or go to the dealership? The answer isn’t clear-cut, but there are several factors to consider before making your decision. To help you decide, we’ve put together this guide that breaks down the pros and cons of buying cars online versus going to the dealership, so you can make an informed choice about your purchase.
Why do we go to dealerships?
Whether you’re buying a new or used car, there are plenty of benefits to going through an established dealership. Being able to take advantage of manufacturer discounts on new cars is one obvious perk—but, more important, many people feel safer purchasing their car from an authorized dealership instead of online.
The pros and cons of online car shopping
An active market for used cars exists online, where you can find listings for cars that are for sale by owners as well as dealerships. While many vehicles have been around for years, there are some advantages to buying from an individual rather than from a dealership: It may be easier to haggle on price, and you may end up with a car that has fewer miles and is in better condition overall. On the other hand, purchasing through an online marketplace or dealer removes any haggling ability — since car prices tend to be fixed — but you could benefit from more vehicle options than what’s available at your local dealer.
Tips before you buy a car online
Before you purchase your next vehicle online, make sure you do your research. There are plenty of different things that factor into car buying, but there are some precautions you can take before settling on an online car dealer. Make sure the service you are using is reputable and has customer reviews. It is important that you know what you’re getting into before making your purchase. First and foremost, try to visit multiple dealership websites and compare prices and models.
Benefits of buying your car online
You can do your car shopping at any time and from anywhere as long as you have internet access. You can complete all of your research on models, options, colors, financing, and insurance online. The benefit of doing all of your car shopping online is that it eliminates any need for you to go back and forth between lots to compare different makes and models. Not only is it more convenient but in most cases, it can save you time because there will be no hassles with scheduling appointments or waiting in line.