The Internet has delivered a world of new and used cars from every corner of the globe right to our fingertips. You want a purple Mazda convertible with blacked out wheels and fur trimmed seats? Good luck with that search, it could be out there somewhere. But, for practically any standard make, model and trim you’re looking for, the Internet is a shopping mall. Finding a car you want to buy online does come with some risks, though, but there are ways to protect yourself if you’re considering buying a car online.
If a car catches your eye in Mizzou, Mont. but you happen to live in Orlando, have no fear. You don’t necessarily need to drive thousands of miles to check the car out before you sign on the dotted line. Did you know that there are professionals who work as car inspectors? These people are just like home inspectors who you hire to look at every crack and crevice of a home you’re hoping to buy. But, instead of houses, these inspectors specialize in cars. There are plenty of them around the country and you can probably easily find one with a simple Google search. If you find them reputable and trustworthy, you can pay them a reasonable amount to go to the car lot and kick the tires for you. Their inspections are pretty thorough and when they’re done inspecting the car, they’ll give you a full report on their findings which can help you make a smart purchase on a car in a far away place.
You should also understand that car values can differ geographically. Obviously, convertibles and topless Jeeps might be in much higher demand in warm climates whereas four wheel drive snow beasts might be in order for colder states. Demand always affects price. You can use a car valuation tool like the one on Cars.com to check on pricing in various markets across the country. To see if any difference exists from where you are and a potential new car is, just change out the zip code in the search field.
Before agreeing to buy a vehicle that’s located far away from you, you’ll probably want to also request a CarFax report from the seller so you can see if it’s been in any accidents, had major mechanical breakdowns reported and if it has a clean title. You’ll also have to make arrangements on how to get the car to you and carefully exchange your money for the car. While the Internet has opened up a host of car buying opportunity, those opportunities are often times way more complicated than heading to your neighborhood car dealership.