Buying a New Car Online

Reader question:

If I’m going to buy a new car online, what do I need to look out for?


A lot!

Buying a car online is one of the riskiest ways to do the deal. You can’t see the car, you can’t feel the car,and you can’t talk to the person that’s selling you the car to gauge whether or not they are telling you the truth. The risk of buying a lemon or an otherwise problematic car goes up quite a but when buying a car online.

So what kind of questions should you ask when buying a car online?

  • You want to know why they’re selling the car. A lot of the time, when an individual sells a car, it isn’t because it’s running great.
  • How many owners have been? Just you?
  • Is there anything wrong with the car? If you ask what condition it’s in, you’ll just get a positive answer. Obviously, no seller is going to tell you it’s in terrible condition. You have to play with the way you word your question.
  • Can I haggle over the price?
  • What’s the lowest price you’ll take?
  • Has the car been in a crash before? Is it otherwise scratched up, rusted, dented, etc.?
  • What about the tires? How long have you had them? Where are the receipts and warranties?
  • How long have you been trying to sell this car?
  • Has the car been repaired recently? Receipts, etc…
  • Is the car yours, or are you still paying on it? This is a really important question. It’s hard to remove the lien when the owner is still paying on the car.
  • How soon do you want to get this sold? If they’re in a hurry, they’ll probably take a lower price.
  • Can I get my mechanic to look at it? This is also very important, because you should have a real expert on your side tell you if there is anything wrong with the car. It’s never enough to just take the other guy’s word for it.
  • What’s Blue Book say? Ask this even if you already know the answer.
  • When was the last time you got a tune up on the car? If it was a while ago, will you pay for one?


Fashun Guadarrama.

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."