Buying a Used Car Online – Shopping the New Way

There’s a new way to shop for good used cars, looking online has given way to buying online. While in the past, buyers have been prone to kicking the tires and able to test drive the used car they are considering, there are new ways to find great deals on good used cars. The option of buying a used car online, sight unseen, may make some buyers uneasy, but for others it can be a great way to find that dream car while still keeping within their budget.

While still a new concept in used car sales, this small portion of the market is growing at an amazing rate. With the increased selection and reduced prices offered on these deals, it can be easy to see the appeal of this new trend in the market. The risks associated with purchasing a car this way may prevent certain buyers from considering this option, but for the brave shopper great deals can be had online. The worldwide market of good used cars is waiting on the other side of your monitor screen. Presented on used car portals, classified ads, online used car brokers and by traditional car dealership website, the possibility for finding your dream car within your budget increases exponentially when your search includes the internet. Should you have a certain make or model in mind for your used car purchase, looking at the options available online is the smartest way to find exactly what you would like.

Certainly, the risks involved in purchasing a car without getting an up close look can put off some buyers. The brave shopper who can commit to buying a car online will often be greeted with a great deal however, and this savings can be enough reason to trust in an unknown quantity. By being well-informed about the used car market and doing diligent research ahead of time, these online bargains can be safe bets. With the online tools at your disposal, anyone can find their next used car online for a great price.

Fair Market Value

Knowing the fair market value of the car you are considering should be your first step in shopping. Resources like Kelley Blue Book, NADAGuides, and can help determine if the price being offered on the vehicle is in line with the value of the car. These estimated values for used cars are based on recorded transactions, and can take into account the condition, make, model and available options added to the car. Knowing the going rate for the item to be purchased can be a great tool in your negotiations. Be sure to check several sources to ensure accurate information on prices.

Third Party Vehicle History Reports

Knowing exactly what you are getting is another part of being confident in your decision. By consulting an outside authority such as Carfax, or Experian’s AutoCheck and weighing their input against the service records and word of the dealer, you can ascertain whether the car has been in a crash and other important facts about the car’s history. Initially offered to industry professionals only, these reports have been made avail be to consumers as well over recent years. For under thirty dollars, one can learn about the car’s registration, renewals, as well as recorded incidents like salvage and insurance losses. Many dealers will offer this information on their vehicles as a way to increase buyer confidence.

Car Inspections

With an online presence, independent vehicle inspectors and appraisers such as CARCHEX offer another way to ensure that the car being considered is a smart investment. For just under one hundred dollars, CARCHEX will give any car a 155 point inspection before purchase most anywhere within the USA. Many local mechanics may offer similar inspections for a lower cost, possibly even taking the car for a test drive to ensure proper functioning. When considering buying online, having an inspection performed on the car prior to purchase can bring that piece of mind which can help seal the deal.


Should the car you are most interested in be out of your local area, you may need to have it shipped to you. One of the more known options is Dependable Auto Shippers, whose satellite enabled trucks allow one to track the progress of your new car’s trek online much like one can track a package. It may also be an option to pick up your new used car at a local airport, and many online dealers will take the time to share a meal or snack with the buyer at the time of pick-up.