5 Important Factors to Consider When Purchasing a New Car Online

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The car buying process usually follows a few simple steps. You find car listings online, and then you contact the seller. This means going to a dealership or meeting an individual at their home. Here, you test the car before haggling the price and deciding if you want it. It’s the most common way of buying a car, but what if you’re getting a brand new one? You’d love to test drive it, but this isn’t always possible – especially if the best deal is from a dealership far from where you live. Instead, your only option is to order the car online, like you would with any other ecommerce purchase. As you can imagine, mistakes are easy to make. Here are some important things to look for when buying a brand new car online:

Check The Website
If you’re purchasing a used vehicle, you don’t typically care that much about the website you’re using. Most people find used car markets or will go on Facebook to see what’s for sale. New cars are different as they’re only sold by manufacturers or specific dealers. Consequently, you need to check the website to be sure you’re buying a car from an approved dealer. If you can’t find anything that suggests they’re a legitimate car dealership, then avoid them. You must ensure you’re buying from approved dealers if you want 100% certainty that you’re getting a brand-new car.

Pay Close Attention To New Car Listings
Online dealers will have two types of cars in their new listings:
Factory new
New (pre-reg)
The pre-reg cars have been registered to the dealer as they use them as show cars or for people to test. As a result, you’re not technically getting a brand new car straight from the factory. Some of you might not care about this at all – pre-reg cars aren’t going to have many miles on them and are basically good as new. Nevertheless, it’s important to look for these two listings and differentiate the two. You don’t want to buy a car thinking it’s configured and coming straight from the factory, only for it to be pre-registered to the dealer.

Make Sure You Can Configure Your Dream Car
The biggest advantage of buying new cars is that you (should) be given the chance to configure it. In other words, you can choose how the car looks and functions, as well as pick any key features you desperately need. If something isn’t a necessity, you can usually get rid of it. This lets you sculpt a car to your unique desires, so it does everything you need it to and looks the part. With that in mind, it’s essential that your online car dealer lets you configure your dream car. Now, Autoweb Design are an automotive software provider that allows car dealers to provide configurations on their site. It’s a nifty bit of tech, so there’s no excuse for a dealer not to have it. If you can’t configure your new car, what’s the point in buying it? You lose one of the main reasons to purchase a factory new vehicle, so its value almost immediately goes down. We also recommend using the car manufacturer’s website to configure your vehicle. This will show you all the different capabilities and versions of the car to choose. Use this to compare against the car dealerships you find. Some may not let you configure the car in certain ways, in which case you probably shouldn’t use them.

Pick a dealer that lets you do the full configuration and doesn’t hide any features or car versions.
Request Virtual Tours
You’re buying the car online, so you can’t go out and test drive it. Instead, you can request virtual tours of the car you’re interested in. As mentioned before, dealers who also have an in-person dealership will have show cars on display. They can video call you and show you inside the car so you have an idea of what it looks like. This is the closest you’ll get to being inside the car before you buy it, and it can tell you so much. You get a better sense of how much space is inside, what the driving position is like, how big the screen looks, and so on. If a dealer can’t promise a virtual car tour, then it’s a bit of an issue – but only if you haven’t seen the car before. There’s every chance you went to a local dealer and found the car, but their offer was rubbish. Or, they had a long waiting time, so you found a better deal elsewhere online. In this scenario, you’ve already looked around the car, so a virtual tour isn’t essential. It’s only necessary if you will not be able to physically see the car at all before buying.

Check The Delivery Options
You’re buying a car online because you can’t find a good deal close to you. As a result, it might be hard for you to collect your new vehicle once it arrives. Some dealers only provide a collection service, so you need to ensure you can actually get to the dealership to pick it up. There are also cases of online-only dealers getting your car sent to a third-party collection location. This could be an airport or a car rental garage. In either case, you need (again) be sure you can get to this location to collect your car. Or, see if there are delivery options. Many dealers will deliver your car straight to your door. Some do this for free, others charge a flat fee, and many will provide free delivery up to a certain number of miles, then charge a fee per mile after. A delivery service is the most convenient option when buying a car online, but be sure you can get your car no matter what.

It is fully possible to buy your car online without ever seeing it in the flesh. There are many reasons to do this and it could be the ideal option for you. Before you purchase anything, check that you’ve considered the five things in this guide. You’ll avoid common mistakes and will feel confident with your car purchase.

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