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Buy a car on the internet

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The Internet has taken much of the guess work out of the car buying process. Shoppers are able to obtain a vast amount of research information on the Web that was previously hard to obtain. And once you decide on a vehicle, there are websites that can actually help you purchase it.


Contents

Purchasing

In addition to being a source for research, the Internet can also facilitate the purchase of a car. There are two general ways one can buy a new car online, directly through a website or by being referred to a dealer. For used cars there are more choices, dominated by online classifieds, or buying from an online seller using sites like eBayMotors.com, MotoSeller.com, EveryCarListed.com, AllTheRides.com or AutoTrader.com. . . To see actual prices that other car buyers have negotiated for their new vehicles, you can check dealerdrop.com.

Referral

Through a referral, a customer is connected with a dealer that has the desired car in stock. This makes the shopping process a great deal easier and avoids the hassle of having to go from dealership to dealership. While you can't avoid a car salesman entirely through this process, a lot of the negotiation and finance details can be worked out online.

There are different types of websites you can use to initiate the process, including those run by the manufacturer(Ford Credit, Volvo Car Finance, Land Rover Capital Group, Mazda American Credit), the dealer or a third-party, such as Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, AutoUSA, Mycarhelpline.com, NewCar.com, Automotive, CarsDirect, or ZAG.com.

According to the founder of Dealer Internet Ups, one of the best referral sites is ZAG.com. Using this service Internet Sales Managers compete for your business by offering the lowest possible price upfront with absolutely no negotiation whatsoever. Zag is a transaction solution, not a shopping site. Dealer Internet Ups recommends you visit Zag only after you've decided on the Year, Make and Model of the vehicle you know you want to purchase. Zag gives dealers what they want; a high volume of pre-sold buyers while offering buyers what they want; guaranteed below market prices and the best automotive purchase experience available in the industry. Using Zag you'll have the best price guarantee sent directly from Zag before you even hear from the dealer and should the dealer not honor that price they are no longer able to participate in the Zag program.

While there can be some variance, generally, there are a few steps involved in the referral process:

  • Fill out Form - You'll be asked to fill a out form with key details, such as contact information, type of vehicle you're interested in, how you plan on paying, etc.
  • Contact from Dealer - Your information will be forwarded to dealers in your area. If a dealer is able to fulfill your order, you'll get an e-mail stating that your request was received, if the desired car is in stock, as well as the asking price.
  • Finalize the Details - After your initial contact, the rest of the transaction kind of depends on you and the dealer. If you're comfortable with the car and the asking price, you can likely work out a lot of details before you even step inside the door of the dealership. On the other hand, if you're not sure about the car or the dealership, you can arrange a time to go take a test drive and meet with the salesperson. Financing can also vary. Most dealers will give you the option of working with one of their banks or the automaker's finance division. Dealer Internet Ups suggests using Capital One, an affiliate of Zag as a benchmark for competitive interest rates.

Direct

With this method, you can buy a new car directly from a website that is not affiliated with an automaker or dealership. The price is set beforehand - no negotiation is required. The largest website that offers this service is CarsDirect. You still have to pick up your vehicle at a dealership, but all of the details are worked out before delivery. Through the direct method, you have different finance options that include using the website's banking partners and the manufacturer's finance arm.

Online Purchase

If you are looking for that special car, it might not be in your local area. You can still place a bid or make an offer using eBay. You can usually arrange shipping and financing even for a remote purchase, and eBay offers purchase protection if something goes wrong. Be sure to do your homework however. Ask questions, and look up the Vehicle History Report to avoid surprises.

Female Friendly Certified Dealer Search

For women shoppers you can search on the internet for 'female friendly' dealerships in the US by going to http://www.askpatty.com and locating the dealer search tool to locate a dealership by brand and zip code. These dealerships also display a door or window seal denoting 'female certified' by AskPatty and complete a twelve month training program to become certified.

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