Buyer Beware when Shopping A Car Online
It's so easy, convenient, and hassle-free to shop online for a car. But is it the best way to purchase a vehicle? Most people consider buying a house to be the most expensive purchase they'll ever make. A close second is buying a vehicle. You can purchase clothes, gifts, food and pets online. What about a large-ticket item like a car?
We ship thousands of vehicles
Move Car ships thousands each month, so we have an unusual perspective. Many online vehicle purchases take unanticipated turns for the worse, as our truckers and transport agents see. Customers call us excitedly to arrange transport for their newly purchased vehicle. They discover that the vehicle is not exactly as described and pictured in the advertisement.
Customers often mistakenly place blame on the autotransporter, rather than looking at where or who they bought the vehicle. This causes a lot of problems for both the customer and the innocent party they are involving, which in most cases is the auto transporter.
Online car shopping
There are many options available for car shopping online. Each one can offer the best deal or the most headaches. There are many options for online car shopping. These include private and state auctions, salvage yards and individual sellers. Also, there are larger, more recognized businesses like IAAI and Copart. No matter how big or small the seller, it is important to understand the product you are purchasing and the terms that you will be agreeing to. You must be able to touch, drive, or inspect it in person to ensure you aren't buying a lemon.
Do your research on the seller or person you're buying from, and don't just take the ad as it is. Ask lots of questions. Is the advertisement accurate in describing the current condition of the vehicle? People get so caught up in the "look" of a vehicle that they forget that they might only want to drive it occasionally. Is the VIN number valid?
Do not allow authorities to search your vehicle. (If you are unsure, hang up. Is the vehicle involved in an accident? You can request a Carfax report that will provide a detailed history of all incidents. Ask the seller if they are able to take photos (interior, exterior and under the hood, if possible) and send them. What is the reason for selling it? The seller's reasons for selling can give you valuable insight into a vehicle's condition.
Get a certified vehicle condition report. Many reputable companies offer auto inspection and appraisal services throughout the country. The inspection should cover the exterior, interior, and electrical conditions. It also must include an inventory of removable accessories like keys, spare tire, mats.
Vehicle condition reports are often provided by auctions, dealers, and salvage yards. However, they might not include all the details or reflect the condition as of the "date at entry" (into their facility), or the "date at the sale" (your invoice date). Although your paid invoice date may seem current, you will need transport arrangements. This means that the vehicle will remain in storage for a period of time before it is available for collection.
Learn more about our door-to-door car services
These huge storage yards can be a nightmare with so many cars coming in and out of them, and they often act as vehicle graveyards. Accidents may or will occur. Storage fees are another important thing to think about when you visit salvage and auction houses. Ask about storage fees and be ready to pay them. It may take time to arrange transport, depending on where you are located.
The car shipping company will pick up your vehicle. Only the EXTERIOR condition of the vehicle will be inspected and documented on the bill. Everything else will only be as good as your effort to make the vehicle new. Take responsibility. As you would with local dealers, be responsible when purchasing an online vehicle. This will protect everyone and yourself.
Get your free car transport quote