If there’s one thing most people can agree on, it’s the fact that no one really enjoys walking onto a car lot. You are immediately swarmed by salespeople trying their best to get you to test drive one of their vehicles. Then you have the haggling, the dealership’s sales tricks, the “hands are tied” sales associate, and the list goes on. The traditional car-buying experience is a dreaded task for many but the recent trend in online car buying has given hope to those who prefer to steer clear of car dealerships. Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common for people to purchase and ship cars online and this method has proved to be a fantastic alternative. Not only is buying a car online more convenient than going to an actual dealership, but it can also save you money! Here is a basic overview of how online car buying and shipping works along with a few of the benefits.
Decide What You Want
Much like you would if you wandered onto a car lot, you can easily become distracted and overwhelmed by the vast selection of cars online. Before searching for inventory, think about what kind of car will be most practical for your lifestyle. Consider important factors like how much you drive, how much seating and storage space you need, and how much you are looking to spend on a car. Narrowing down your choices will help to simplify your online search.
Filter Your Search by Model and Price
Now that you have decided which type of car will best suit your needs, you can filter your search by model and price. When you are browsing online, type in the maximum price you are willing to spend so you are only shown cars within your budget. You can narrow your search even further by specifying a specific color and features.
Increase Your Shopping Range
One of the advantages of buying a car online is that you have the opportunity to look at vehicles all over the country and you aren’t limited to the inventory in your radius. The online selection is much wider than if you stick to local options. Furthermore, certain vehicles might be cheaper in one part of the country as opposed to somewhere else so you increase your chances of getting a better deal.
Do Your Research
Just because you are buying a car online doesn’t mean you should abandon all of the old school rules. For example, you still need to thoroughly research the vehicle to be sure you are getting a good vehicle. You can obtain a Vehicle History Report by entering the car’s VIN number. This report will tell you if the vehicle has ever been in an accident and in some cases, it will even provide you with a service history. While a vehicle report is a great start, that alone is not enough information. If the vehicle is too far away for you to see it in person, be sure to request plenty of detailed photos so you can see all areas of the vehicle. Since you are not able to do a test drive or peek under the hood, it is advisable to also request an independent inspection on the vehicle. This is easy to arrange, even if the vehicle is out of state.
Make Shipping Arrangements If the car is too far away for you to pick up in person, you will need to make arrangements to have it delivered. You can have the vehicle shipped directly to your door using a reputable shipping company such as Ship a Car Direct. You can request a free shipping quote to be sure you are getting the best price. Shipping a vehicle is easy and convenient with a certified company like Ship a Car Direct.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.