Is It Safe To Buy A Car Online?

Traditionally, if you were looking to buy a car, you would head to a local dealership. When Covid-19 hit the world, dealerships were forced to close and trade through online channels. This spurred dealers on to operate their business on the internet and help customers get the car they need. This helped the online car buying industry to flourish and more drivers have adopted an online process over a physical in personal transaction.

Buy A Car Online

Online car buying does what it says on the tin, you can view cars on a dealer’s website, request videos of the vehicle you want to buy and the whole transaction can be done over the phone or online. If you’re looking to buy your next car online, read our top tips first. 

What are the benefits of buying a car online?

If you’re looking to buy your next car online, it can be straightforward and convenient. 

  • Convenient – Online car buying allows you to shop for cars you can afford within the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to spend time trawling round local dealers and instead have access to 100s of cars at your fingertips from dealers all over the UK. 
  • Time saving – you don’t have to visit dealerships during their opening times and can instead shop at a time which is suited to you. You can find cars and fill out the paperwork at home, so you don’t have to spend hours within a dealership.  
  • No sales pressure – When you’re physically at a dealership spending time with a salesperson, you may feel the pressure to sort your car deal there and then. Buying a car online relieves some of this pressure and means you can make an informed decision at your leisure. 
  • More finance options – When you use an online car finance broker, you can compare multiple finance offers at once. A car dealership may be limited to the number of lenders they can introduce you to, and you may not be getting the best deal. 
  • Have the car delivered to you – Many online dealers who offer online car buying also give consumers the option to have the car delivered to them. A small number of dealers may offer free delivery, but many ask for a small fee to bring the car to you. 

Also Read: Proprietary Buying And Selling: That Means, Benefits & Instance

Why is online car buying bad?

There are so many benefits of getting a car online but there are some factors which may not suit all drivers. 

  • Can’t view the car in person – The biggest drawback of buying a car online is that you won’t physically be able to see the car for yourself until it is delivered. You can request extensive photos and videos of the car you wish to buy but many drivers feel like it does not come close to being able to view a car in person.
  • Not test drive – Similarly to the above, not being able to see the car in person means you won’t be able to take it for a test drive. Test driving a car is a key aspect of the car buying process as it lets you get a feel for the car and how it drives. This is especially important if you are buying a used car as they may have a hidden history. However, you can still do much of the car buying process online and ask the dealership if you could take a test drive before buying. 
  • Harder to negotiate – When you buy a car fully remotely, the price you see advertised is usually the price you will pay. Because there’s little human contact, there is less opportunity to negotiate with the dealer.

Know your rights when buying a car online.

Before you make any large purchase, you should be aware of your legal rights if something should go wrong with the deal. When you buy a car online through a dealership, you have the same rights as if you walked into a dealership and an added layer of protection too.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is a law which protects almost every purchase you make and specifically covers both new and used car purchases

Any car you buy must meet the following standards:

  • Fit for purpose.
  • As described and matches the online description.
  • Satisfactory quality e.g. accurate age and mileage. 

You can reject the car within 30 days of purchase and get a full refund or have the car repaired if the car is faulty or damaged when it’s delivered.  After 30 days but within 6 months, you can reject the car, but you may only be entitled to a partial refund, repair or replacement. 

Also Read: Benefits of Buying College Essays Online

Consumer Contracts Regulations 2014.

The Consumer Contracts Regulations help to protect consumers when shopping online. Under these regulations, Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 was put in place to make it a criminal offence for traders to mislead buyers when purchasing goods and services. You have the right to cancel the order for a car within 14 days of placing the order for no reason and get a full refund.

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