There is no doubt that shopping has become extremely convenient, thanks to the internet, but it has also made it quite risky. The biggest obstacle is that you are actually purchasing something unseen, which means that you don’t get the opportunity to physically look at the product before you buy it. This doesn’t seem like a major difficult when you are purchasing something like a small appliance, but a car is a different matter altogether. This is one purchase that will cost you thousands of dollars so obviously you want to get it right. Otherwise, you could end up being the owner of a metal disaster.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t buy a car online? No, it simply means that you need to know how to purchase a car online safely and here are some tips that can help you do exactly that:
Never give out your personal information
You should never give a seller your social security number or credit card information online. It is also dangerous to wire money or send personal checks. Buying a car is a sizable transaction and the best thing you can do is ask the seller to meet you at a bank for making a financial transaction. This will especially be important if you are financing your car purchase through a loan.
Verify the authenticity
Is the car shown in the pictures real? It is easy for just anyone to put up an ad of a car for sale. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the automobile you can see actually does exist and the easiest way to go about this is vehicle registration. The seller should have absolutely no problems with sending you a copy of the VIN number and registration if the vehicle does exist. This information can be used for checking the vehicle history, which would also tell you if any repair work has been done. The repair history is of the utmost importance because you want to know what you are buying.
It is a good idea to be skeptical
Most sellers are known to list cars at a price that seems to be low. Even if the seller says it is because they want to attract attention, you don’t want to assume that you are getting a wonderful bargain. The best thing that you can do in this situation is to ask about the model of the car and see what year it was made. You can then check the market price of such a vehicle and figure out if you are getting a good deal or not. Bear in mind that other factors such as the car’s condition and mileage can also influence the price so you can ask the seller about it as well.
Apart from these tips, it is also recommended that you talk to the seller on the phone or meet face-to-face if possible. Send a local mechanic to inspect the vehicle to see if it is in the same condition as advertised and then make the purchase.