Car Buying and the Internet 2013

Car Buying and the Internet

What should you watch out for!

Whether you are buying a used or new car, there is no doubt that the Internet is an efficient tool for your car quest. If you plan to buy a new car, you can search the type of car you want, the price of the car, the options you need and the cost of the additional options. There is a wide selection of online car retailers, such as,, or, so shop around for your favorite. However, buying a car online comes with risks as there are a lot of con artists and scams nowadays. To prevent misfortune, consider the following guidelines on buying cars online.

Investigate the Dealer
When you shop online, don't forget to investigate the company or dealer advertising the car you are interested in. A lot of trusting buyers become a victim of Internet scams and made a payment for a vehicle, only to see the dealer fade away after receiving the payment. If you are dealing with an online stores or independent sellers, be sure to read consumer feedback or reviews to find out if they are legitimate. You can also check their legitimacy with Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Ask for Images
Proficient writers can easily produce enticing advertisements describing the car you want. They have the potential to mislead you about the actual appearance or condition of the car you want to buy. Hence, make sure you check if a term such as "rust colored" denotes "full of rust," or "minor dents" describes a demolished quarter panel or front end. One way to see the car's appearance, without viewing personally, is to ask the dealer for multiple images. Ask them to send you an email containing the photos of every angle of the car including the engine and interior.

View the Vehicle in Person
Whenever possible, check out the vehicle in person. If you are dealing with local dealers, it's very convenient for you to visit them. Once you find the car you like, you will be able to check its condition by viewing it on-site and perform test-driving. Checking out the car before making a payment can save you from scams and costly repairs.

Verify the VIN Number
A good method, particularly if you're purchasing a used vehicle, is to check the car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a state database. Every vehicle manufactured comes with a unique VIN that is kept on record at DMV facilities, police departments, car dealerships and repair shops that the car has been associated with. Verifying the VIN provides you information about the car's history and the number of owners it's been through, the number of accidents it's been in, and if it has been involved in an illegal activity or has endured major internal damage.

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