These days, buying a car is no longer limited to shopping at your local dealerships. Thanks to the ease of online shopping, buying a car online is fast, easy, and convenient. Not only does it save you the hassle of having to spend hours on a car lot, but it also means you have access to a much broader inventory of vehicles. If you are interested in buying a car online, but unsure about where to start and how to have it delivered, keep reading to learn more about this process.
Do Your Research
As with anything else these days, you should begin with an online search. There are a number of online dealerships and websites where you can search for the exact make and model that you want. Once you find a few vehicles that you are interested in, you can confirm fair pricing by looking at Edmunds of Kelley Blue Book to get a comprehensive estimate of the vehicle’s value. You can also run the vehicle’s VIN number through a website like CarFax or AutoCheck to get a better idea of the vehicle's history.
Once you have narrowed down your search to the vehicle you want, you should contact the seller. If your vehicle is at a dealership, you can contact their online sales department through the company website. If you are purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller, you will need to contact them directly. This is your chance to ask specific questions about the vehicle and negotiate the price.
Arrange for an Inspection
If you are buying a used car, it is important to have it inspected by a local mechanic before purchasing it. You can contact a local mechanic in the area and arrange a time for the inspection. Many mechanics will offer pre-purchase inspections for about $100, which is well worth the price when buying a car you haven’t seen in person. You can use the findings of the inspection to further negotiate and move forward with the deal or start your search over.
Shipping Your New Car
The next step in buying a car online is having it delivered to you after purchase. If the car you are purchasing is a long distance away, you can work with a reliable auto transport company to arrange for delivery. In most cases, having your new car shipped to you is faster, easier, and less stressful than picking it up yourself. Research professional auto transport companies and find a reliable company that meets your needs. There are even options available for any budget, including open or enclosed transport as well as door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal shipment. Once you have chosen a shipping company, simply schedule a window for pickup and make sure someone is present upon delivery. With convenient and affordable shipping options, buying a car online has never been easier.
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.
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