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Buying a Car Online: What to Look For and a Review
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With over 59% of consumers using the internet in the process of buying cars, buying a car online can be a positive experience. This has even increased by 53% in the last year alone. Since 2002 the number of visits by new buyers to dealership web sites has grown by over 70%.

Buying online has not eliminated the traditional “brick and mortar” car dealer but, has changed the nature of the relationship between the car buyer and the car dealer.

When the consumer chooses to begin the car buying process by going online they have taken control and the car dealer knows it. No longer can a fast talking salesperson pressure you with unsubstantiated facts and a generous dose of charm. No longer are you cohersed into submitting to a lengthy sales pitch simply because you have good manners and are afraid to interrupt.

The consumer who chooses to go online to initiate the relationship between “car buyer” and “car dealer” has taken charge and wants only the facts. If the online dealer fails to provide the requested facts (educate) in a timely fashion, you should move on.
The savvy online car dealer knows that they have your attention for only a short time and must provide a quality response in a timely fashion.

What to Look For In an Online Dealer:

Make sure the website you look for values your business. It should be fast and reliable, do not accept service that is sub par for the sake of convenience.

  • Rapid Response
    Expect a response within 6 business hours, if they are unable to contact you in a timely manner, move on. Your time is valuable and it is their job to prove to you that they want and can handle you business.
  • Good Quality Response
    The dealership must be able to address all your questions and concerns. They should be able to offer additional information and also alternative options. They should clearly identify and explain your financing options. The dealership should also be competitively priced, and have a varied inventory.
  • Possible Available Credit and Financing Options
    If you are considering financing as an option, look for sites with short, quick and simple credit application. The dealership should provide you with different financing options, and be able to respond your questions. Check out our Financing Online article for more information.
  • Make Sure the Website is Secure and Easy to Use
    You are giving your personal information through the internet. Make sure the site is secure, if it is not advertised, read the privacy policy. Within the first minute, you can tell if the site is easy to understand.
  • Alternatives to Your Original Inquiry
    The Salesperson should be quick to offer additional information, and offer other options such as those for models, makes, trims, and price. They should point out any rebates, incentive packages they are offering. Look for a salesperson that is helpful and informative.
Website Reviews:

We reviewed online referral sites in both the U.S. and Canada and found sites that met our tough criteria. Our preliminary research has identified three sites in Canada that we recommend below. However, the Canadian online market has now only begun to emerge and our staff will continue our research, confident that we will discover and recommend more relevant sites to our readers.

Recommended Sites in Canada:

Website Review
www.carloanscanada.com It was easy to use, had numerous vehicle makes and models. The credit application, “The Smart App” was secure, and very fast, as guaranteed. Vehicles were well priced, and we were given many financing options.
www.mrapproved.ca This website had competitive pricing and they did whatever they could to work within our budgeted range, and had many models and years to choose from.
www.yourcaryourcost.com This website contacted us very quickly by a certified and established dealership very close to us, also had friendly salesperson with fair pricing.


Recommended Sites in the US:

Website Review
www.pricequotes.com PriceQuotes.com gives you a buying time frame range, allowing you to ensure the dealer will contact you within a certain period.
www.car.com Car.com has a simple credit application and a promise of security. It was easy to use, and delivers on their quick quote promise.

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