Online Vehicle Shopping: Tips and Hints to do it right

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Buying a car online can be a daunting experience. So much of the car-buying experience is so intimately personal, that it is difficult to replicate it online. Yet, buying a car on the Internet promises better prices, better service, and of course, immense convenience. Before you race ahead and book your next car online, there are a few things you should know to get the best possible experience:

1. Research the Seller
Imagine this: you find an incredible deal online on a new Infiniti, you contact the seller, negotiate a price, and send off an initial deposit. Two weeks later, the seller is nowhere to be found and your deposit is gone, and so it the deal.

This is the number one concern of people buying cars online, which makes it imperative that you research the seller as thoroughly as possible. The key to a successful transaction is to buy only from reputable marketplaces which have built-in safety measures. Ask for references and speak to other customers. Any honest seller would be forthright with any details, including references from previous customers. Never hesitate to ask questions and get all possible doubts cleared since you are, after all, dealing with thousands of pounds.

2. Research the Car
So you’ve scoured the marketplace and found a trustworthy seller with a sterling reputation. That’s exactly the Infiniti you were looking for, and you can trust the website you’re using – Carsales.com.au, for instance. But have you researched the car itself?

Ask the seller for the car’s details, including model number, current kilometres, and VIN. The VIN is crucial here as it can give you information about the car’s history. Order a car history report to learn if the car has been in an accident and if the seller is holding any information from you.

If you see any suspicious signs, run!

3. Pay Securely
It is best to err on the side of caution when dealing with big ticket items like cars. Make sure that you use a secure payment option when buying a vehicle online. Your best bet is to use an escrow service like Escrow.com which will not only hold your money safely, but also conduct a complete check on the condition of the car. Alternatively, ensure that you pay only with a credit card in a secure browser. Credit cards have built-in fraud protection and are your best bet when caught in a scam. Never pay via cheques or cash deposits.

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