Car shopping can be as exciting as buying the new NYX eye shadow palette. Not only do cars come in a variety of colours like the eye shadow dows, a car will give you independence and a new sense of confidence (okay, so makeup can do the same, but a car will last longer and is always in style). However, you might not have the time for car shopping if you have a busy schedule. You can, however, remedy this with online car shopping.
There are now many different used car dealer options that offer online shopping. These used car dealerships update their websites regularly with their options, allowing you to find the best price for your needs without having to leave the comfort of your home. So, if you want to trawl the internet looking for the best cars from pre-owned car dealerships, read on below for some top tips on buying a car online.
Do your research
We live in a digital world. And this means that doing research on a car that has caught your eye is easy and provides almost-immediate results. So, the very first step in shopping for a car online is to do your research on the make, model and price of the car.
You can find out the true value of new or second-hand cars online, which will help you to determine whether or not the asking price of the dealership is fair. Once you have done research on the car, you will need to look into the dealership itself. Look for reviews on their social media and Google, in order to see if there have been any negative comments or experiences.
Keep it local
Online shopping does mean that you are not bound by geography too much, but purchasing a car in a province that is far away from you might end up costing you more. This is because you will have to pay for the car to be delivered to you (which is not added onto the cost of the car) or arrange to reach the dealership somehow.
You will find plenty of affordable car deals in your own area, which will save you both time and money. When searching online for cars, you can choose settings that keep your search very localised or more general, so be sure to use these to your advantage. By keeping your search local, you will be able to find a car that fits your budget and that you can easily test drive when the time comes.
Base your search on your budget
Before you start searching for cars in your area, you will need to narrow down the search according to your budget. This will help you to get a clearer picture of what cars are available to you, and you will not waste time on falling in love with cars you cannot afford.
When you are searching, type in the exact amount you have to spend on a car. For example, you could type in “Toyota used car for sale R125 000 Western Cape” for a more precise result. Remember to keep your budget in mind when doing your research too. If you are applying for finance, this will help you to only search for cars that you can afford. Calculate your affordability online and use this number when searching for your dream wheels.
What features matter most?
You’ve done your research according to budget and location, but you also need to think about what features matter the most to you. If you value safety and stability in a car, you might prefer a newer model that has a seatbelt alert, more airbags and a camera to help you reverse out of difficult parking spaces.
But, if you are looking for a car that suits your fun and funky lifestyle, you might value a good sound system and quirky colour more than other features. Make a list of the features that you want in a car and use these in your research. If you type these directly into the search bar, you can see the price range of a car with those types of features.
Keep comparing prices
Because you are shopping online, it will be easier for you to compare the prices of the different dealers. You can do this without having to ask for a quote from each one. You can simply look at similar makes and models and ascertain which one is best suited to your pocket.
But you should not rule out contacting the dealer altogether. You can phone them or send them an email inquiring about any special deals they might have or tell them you have seen the same car for a different price at another dealer. They might be willing to negotiate the price in order to beat the competition. Comparing prices is vital to finding a car that sticks to your budget and that meets your needs.