Buying a Car Online

Thanks to the internet, you are no longer at the mercy of car dealerships or random sellers who can afford to advertise in the paper when looking for a used car. There are a number of different websites that allow private parties and dealers alike to advertise their vehicles to people who are interested in making an online car purchase from anywhere in the country.
This makes the car buying and selling market much more competitive and gives the consumer more options in a shorter amount of time. However, there are also a number of scams and pitfalls looming out there for consumers.

PaydayLoansCashAdvance wants to help you navigate around these possible problems if you are planning on making an internet car purchase, so that you get the automobile you want and also get a deal. Below are some tips for making an online car purchase so that you make the most of this new way to buy an automobile.

Use the Internet

There are a number of different car selling websites to choose from. Some may deal in only what is local to you, while others will do a nationwide search for the vehicle you’re looking for. Some sites will allow for past customers to rate their experience and product, but beware – it’s just as easy for a seller to boost their own ratings. Other sites don’t allow for a rating system, it’s up to you to research the seller and make your own determination as to the sellers trustworthiness. If you find the perfect car is being sold by a business, you can search the internet for ratings and complaints filed against and for the company.

Make Sure There Are Pictures

Before even contacting the seller, make sure there are pictures of the car posted online and a lot of them. Showing as much of the car they are selling, with both interior and exterior views from several angles, tells you a lot about the legitimacy of the seller and the car itself. The more details they provide them better of a chance this online car purchase will work in your favor. If certain details are missing from the photos, then you should be wary of the seller.

Get the VIN

The VIN, or vehicle identification number, should be obtained via email if you are interested in a specific vehicle you find online. This number is entered into a database every time a car goes into a mechanic or body shop. Once you get this VIN number, you can go to a vehicle history report website and enter in the VIN to see exactly what has happened to the car mechanically in the past. All service records will be available, as will evidence of any repairs from accidents the car may have been in. All of this information will help you to tell if you are dealing with an honest seller and what, exactly, happened in the past with the car you are about to purchase.

Other Questions

Besides the VIN, ask the seller how many owners the car has had, if it has been in any accidents and if they have a clean title. Also ask how many miles it has on it. They should ideally send you a picture of the odometer of the car to prove this, so that you don’t have to take them at their word. Changing the odometer on a car is highly illegal, so that chances of this happening are slim to none. While you can cross check most of these things on a vehicle history report website, it’s good to ask directly to get a sense of who you are dealing with.

Test Drive

Unless you are conducting an online car purchase from a great distance, which is not recommended, you should always go see the car and test drive it at least once. This is pretty standard when buying any vehicle, but you must make it clear to the seller that you have to do this before you will consider buying the car. A simple test drive will tell you a lot about the car and if it is worth your money. Also it will take away any gloss, lighting or angles that may make the car look better through online pictures than it actually is in real life. After you have driven it, consider taking it to a mechanic and paying for them to give the car a once-over. This will ensure there are no new mechanical problems that couldn’t be detected through a test drive or a vehicle history report.

How to Pay for the Car

If you do want to buy the car, the best way to do it with a money order that is certified by the bank. This will allow you to trace the transaction if there is something wrong with the car or the title turns out to be a fake. It is also safer for you when making the transaction, rather than showing up with thousands upon thousands of dollars in cash. Make sure you do any transaction in person as well, so that you are seeing the person and not making a faceless transaction online.


Before the internet car purchase transaction is complete, make sure the paperwork is highly scrutinized so that you can be sure everything is in place. A change of title form will have to be filled out between you and the seller, so you will have to do some paperwork with them. Make sure they give you a bill of sale as well that legitimately says they sold you the automobile, on top of giving you the car’s title. This will further protect you if there is some future dispute over who owns the car.

While purchasing a vehicle online has it’s downfalls, there are many great vehicles out there as well as some above board honest sellers. We here at want you to know what to look out for and how to proceed so that you can take home the car of your dreams and not a lemon.

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