Fun & Facts   Tech
By Consumer Team | 31 Aug. 2017

Is it Safe to Buy a Car on the Internet?


Technology has allowed us to do a lot of things online. For example, we can meet new people, order food, and buy things that are hard for us to find in physical stores. But is it safe to buy a car on the internet? Well, the answer is both yes and no. You have to be mindful of certain things when you shop for a car online. Here are seven things that you have to consider:

Site Reputation

The first thing you need to consider when you are thinking about buying a new car online is the site’s reputation. If you have never used the site before, you should check it for accreditation, tenure, positive reviews and a straight-and-narrow mission statement. You should always go with a site that many people have used to sell their vehicles.

Buyer Protection

Buyer protection is another important factor when you’re using an online medium to purchase a car. You can feel confident using eBay Motors, for example, because PayPal offers buyer protection for transactions conducted on eBay. This is just one example of one avenue you can take.

Examining the Vehicle in Person

You should always try to meet the owner and see the vehicle in person. The reason is that pictures do not reveal everything. People who are good with cameras came make something shoddy look sweet. Pictures do not show things like leaks either. Schedule a meeting to look at the car up close and personal if you can. Try to avoid ordering a car that’s so far away that you can’t examine it first.

Taking Screen Shots

You should take screen shots of the advertisement and keep them on your person just in case you have a dispute in the future, and the seller removes the ad.

Shipping Costs

The shipping costs for a car that is far away can vary depending on who provides the service. You should find out the seller’s zip code and the weight of the vehicle so that you can get an estimate of the cost for shipping. Compare at least three providers.

Examining ad for Fraud

You must examine the ad for fraud when you read it becuase many scammers are out there. Signs of fraudulent activity in a car ad are:

  • Super low pricing
  • ASAP sale attempt
  • Seller not willing to meet in person
  • Shoddy pictures
  • No contact information
  • Request for advance payment
  • Money wire request
  • No title

Carfax or Similar Report

One thing that you can do to ensure that you are getting one of the safest cars is ask for the vehicle identification number so that you can order a Carfax report. The Carfax report will give you information on the history of the vehicle. It will tell you the number of owners the vehicle had as well as information such as if it has been in any accidents and what kind of title it has.

Those are just a few tips to get you started with the process of trying to find the safest cars for yourself. It is possible to find a good deal online. You just have to handle the situation with caution.