One of the best ways to do when shopping for a car or any vehicle for that matter is to check the best online car buying sites out there. There is actually a lot to choose from, which means more options to compare to be able to get the best deal possible.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that a lot of people in the country own a car or two. Owning or having a car is considered a necessity for most people. It’s something that you got to save for because it makes life easier. Going places is made easier when you own one.
In an article published by CNN in 2017, it says that in 2016, car sales in the country set a record of 17.6 million cars and trucks included.
Meanwhile, in data published by Hedges and Company, it says that there were 284.5 million registered vehicles in the United States as of 2019 and that it is expected to rise even more this 2020.
You see, these numbers are real. This only goes to show that indeed, having a car is not merely want, but a need – at least for most of us.
So, here you are planning to buy yourself a new car. What about now?
Well, if you are not new to this, you probably know by now what to do – unless you want to refresh your thoughts about it. However, if it’s your first time buying a car, it’s a totally different story.
But don’t worry, there are so many references on and offline where you can get idea from –
In fact, you no longer have to go elsewhere because today, we are going to share with you some important details that you need to know prior to buying a car, and of course, we are going to share with you some of the best online buying sites.
Yes, there is such a thing as online buying sites! Later on, we’re going to share with you what these sites are. But first, we are going to tackle some very essential information that every car buyer needs to know.
TIPS WHEN BUYING A CAR
As mentioned, before we move on to our list of some of the best car buying sites out there, here are some of the important things that you need to know first before you even make a car purchase.
TIP 1: Make sure to have a budget.
When buying a car, it is important to set a budget, and of course, stick to it. Avoid buying a car just because you like it even if you cannot afford it. While car loans are everywhere, and they surely help a lot, at the end of the day, you do not want to drown in debt, right? Or that you end up working just to be able to pay for the car that you bought.
You can use different tools to be able to determine how much you can afford. You can either go traditional by simply computing how much space you have in a month to spare for car payments, or you may use an auto loan calculator, which you can find online in different auto loan sites.
TIP 2: Ensure you have a good credit score.
Having a good credit score is a big help especially if you are planning to apply for an auto loan. Financial institutions like banks and credit unions usually check a borrower’s credit score to be able to determine whether or not the person deserves approval of the loan.
Now, if you do not have good credit, don’t worry you may opt to either buy a car through an auto dealership or peer-to-peer credit, or you may choose to look for a co-signer with great credit standing.
TIP 3: Know your auto financing options.
If you can buy a car in cold cash, then, that’s the best option. However, if you cannot afford to do that, there are three common places where you can apply for a car or auto loan. These are banks, credit unions, and an auto dealership.
All these three have their respective pros and cons, you just got to check them, and see for yourself the best possible option based on your preference and what you can afford. Also, make it a habit to compare the APRs and other factors before setting a deal with a financial institution.
TIP 4: Compare car prices.
Before you even make a deal, make sure to compare prices. There are so many car dealers out there, and guess what? While some of them sell the same type of car, they differ when it comes to the price. That is why it is very important to compare prices first before purchasing a car.
Later on, we are going to share with you some of the best online car buying sites. You can check them out and check how one differs from another.
TIP 5: Finalize the deal.
Once you have decided already where to buy the car from, and you have already chosen the car loan provider to deal with, make sure to finalize the deal. Basically, the requirements vary from one dealer or car loan provider to another. You just got to check with your preferred entity.
So, there you have it.
Now, are you excited about our list of the best online car buying sites? Hang in there first as we want to share The List Show TV’s own list first. We find this very helpful especially for those who are new to the idea of buying a car online. Check the video below by clicking the play button:
BEST ONLINE CAR BUYING SITES
With the advent of technology and the internet, it is not surprising that even buying and selling a car is now available online. Technology has indeed changed the way of buying and selling a car is. But let’s be honest here, it’s to our advantage, right? It’s more convenient and easy as compared to shopping cars from one shop to another, which can get exhausting and time-consuming.
Anyway, so, for your car shopping needs, here are some of the best online car buying sites that you should check out – in no particular order:
CARFAX Incorporated is an online commercial service that supplies vehicle history reports to both individuals and businesses regarding used cars as well as light trucks for consumers from the United States or Canada.
The company, which was founded in 1984 is headquartered in Centreville, Virginia.
Over the years, and given the fact that Carfax has been in the market for decades already, the company has become one of the trusted names in vehicle history reports.
However, what a lot of people do not know is that they actually do have an online used-car marketplace as well. The company is integrated with Facebook Marketplace. This brings more transparency as well as the confidence to buyers who are looking for a used car. Given the fact that Facebook Marketplace has already become popular, their partnership made Carfax well-known, particularly to car buyers.
Carfax offers a very simple website. But what makes it a standout is the fact that it provides a quality vehicle history report to future owners of the cars they sell. Every car listed on Carfax comes with a free Carfax Vehicle History Report. Having such will give any shopper peace of mind.
Carfax provides also provides the original price of the car through the Carfax History-Based Value feature. We actually like this because at least you’d know if the current price is worth it.
Another advantage of Carfax is that potential buyers like you have the option to sign-up for email as well as text alerts so in case there’s a similar used car for sale, you will get notified.
Unlike other car buying sites, the Carfax website is a bit old-school. Nonetheless, it gets the job done. Apart from car make, model, color, body type, price as well as ZIP code, and quality, the company does not provide any other filters that are original to them. So, if you have something particular that you are looking for in a vehicle, you might find it a hard time.
Autotrader is also one of the best online car buying sites out there. Founded in 1997, this online marketplace aggregates new, used, as well as certified second-hand cars from dealers and private sellers.
The website allows you to research as well as compare cars by searching for the body type, price, mileage, and a lot more other criteria. Autotrader comes with Lifestyle Centers that allow its customers to locate vehicles that meet their needs and preferences and compare them side by side.
Over the years of its existence, the company has earned several awards and recognitions from different organizations. This includes a recognition from J.D. Power & Associates, Information Week, as well as Dealers’ Choice Diamond Awards.
We find the Autotrader’s website very modern and sleek. It comes with bells and whistles, which is already expected by industry leaders.
One feature that really stands out for us is the integration of its homepage with Kelly Blue Book as it allows users to get an offer on their old vehicle while using the site.
Browsing is not a problem with the Autotrader website. You can browse cars and other vehicle types by location, price, trim packages, and many other variables.
If you are particularly looking for a new vehicle, the Autotrader website provides ample research as well as helpful information that you may need.
Unlike other car buying sites, most of Autotrader’s sellers are dealers instead of private sellers. Thus, expect to talk to sellers with a high level of professionalism.
Sometimes, too much information can get overwhelming especially if you do not know how to narrow your filters, or you do not know exactly what you are looking for in a vehicle.
Another thing we noticed is that finding financing information is quite a challenge.
Carvana lets you pick up a car from an eerie but “futuristic vending machine”. Sounds interesting, right?
Well, that is exactly what a Carvana experience is all about.
Founded just recently, in 2012 to be exact, Carvana was reported to be the fastest-growing used car dealer in the country today.
The company, which is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, has gained popularity because of its multi-story Car Vending Machine.
As of this writing, the Carvana website has over 23,000 cars in stock. Each of these cars comes with their own Carfax history report, which is very important for every buyer.
All cars being sold by Carvana are stored in reconditioning centers. All of the cars were inspected and certified. The centers, however, are not open to the public.
Search online from their thousands of car options, and once you have picked your car, Carvana will deliver it right at your doorstep, or you can pick it up yourself at a car vending machine.
By the way, one thing that draws people to Carvana is the fact that they offer a next-day delivery feature. Now that is customer service at its finest, don’t you think?
All paperwork can be filled out on the site. Carvana also offers free delivery to most major cities — that saves you money.
Carvana does not require a minimum credit score when applying for financing. More so, they only do a soft credit inquiry. You can obtain financing online, too, which makes it really convenient for customers.
Now, for those who want to experience the Car Vending Machine, Carvana usually subsidizes your flight.
While they do not have a minimum credit score requirement, Carvana requires a minimum income of $10,000 a year to be able to apply for car financing. So, if you are a part-time employee or a student, this may not work for you.
Also, the fact that it’s an online marketplace for cars means you cannot check the vehicles in person. However, Carvana offers a seven-day return policy just in case you find something odd about the vehicle you purchased.
Vroom is an online car buying site known for selling cars that are preowned, have low mileage, under three years old, which are the same as pre-owned vehicles. The cars that the company sells online come from dealers, private sellers, as well as auctions.
To ensure safety and the readiness of the car for sale, all units go through several inspection levels.
Basically, all transactions with Vroom are made online. When you buy from the company, rest assure that Vroom handles all paperwork, and deliver it anywhere in the lower 48.
One thing to like about Vroom is that they give a quote for trade-in. Also, they pick up your car once they deliver the one that you purchased.
Once you have the car, you are given a week or 250 miles to test drive the vehicle.
As of this writing, Vroom offers approximately 5,000 vehicles on their site. Also, the company does not offer to haggle pricing. As with financing, they do offer car financing through over 12 banks.
While Vroom may not be the largest online marketplace for cars, it sure does have lots of high-end, clean vehicles to choose from
As mentioned, once you buy a car from Vroom, you are given seven days to test drive.
Each vehicle comes with a 90-day, 6,000-mile limited warranty. Rest assured that all cars from Vroom have clean titles that have undergone inspections and that each comes to their respective Carfax report.
What we like about Vroom also is that most of the vehicles they sell have low-mileage and that a lot are still under the original manufacturer’s warranty.
Vroom is ideal for people with good credit — although technically, the company does not have a minimum credit score requirement. So, yeah, even with a not-so-good credit score, you can still shop around their site.
Unlike other online car buying sites, Vroom charges a delivery fee amounting to $499. However, you have the option to pick up the car in Houston to get away with the fee.
Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CarMax is known to be the country’s largest used-car retailer. It is also a Fortune 500 company.
CarMax takes pride in the kind of service they offer to their customers. They ensure that all the cars they sell have gone through extensive inspections before they even show up on their site.
We consider CarMax as one of the best online car buying sites in the country because of several factors. Apart from the extensive inspections of car units, the company also offers a number of purchase protections such as a seven-day return window should the buyer find anything not good about the unit, limited warranty on all cars, and they also offer an option to buy a comprehensive service plan.
There are a few things we like about CarMax — like they free vehicle history reports, they deliver the car for a test drive (although this includes certain fees), they provide a seven-day return window, 90-day or 4,000-mile limited warranty.
CarMax also allows you to apply for car financing through their site. They also have stores across the country in case you want an in-person experience.
The company does not welcome price negotiations. They also do not provide price guidance to know if the price is a good deal or not.
If you want to see a car or test drive a car, fees apply.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST CAR BUYING SITES
As you can see, we only provided five of the best online car buying sites. There are actually a lot more to choose from. Each comes with their respective offerings.
What’s nice about using car-buying sites is that it is not time-consuming. It’s very accessible – like you can check what they offer anytime and anywhere you want.
So, if you are someone looking for a car – new or pre-owned – but does not have the time to shop from one store to another, car buying websites are the best for you.