Buying a Car Online

With the current popularity of a variety of reputable, internet-based retailers, such as Amazon, Ebay, and even Craigslist, it is possible to buy almost ANYTHING online.  While proper precautions should be taken to first verify safety and dependability, you can score a great deal on a vehicle with one of these many online merchants.  The next step, however, requires getting your new purchase to your current location in a cost-efficient and timely manner.  By remembering a few key pieces of information about shipping, you can be driving your new vehicle in no time at all.

Location, location, location:  Auto transport costs are partially based on the starting and ending locations, in addition to distance travelled.  You can actually save money by picking up a vehicle in a major city, as opposed to having it delivered to your home on a rural route.  You should also be aware that although a vehicle from a small-town dealership may seem like a much better deal, the difference in price from a big city dealership could be offset by an increase in shipping.

Size Differential:  If you are trying to decide between a larger or a smaller vehicle, remember that larger vehicles will cost more to ship.  The weight will increase the transport truck’s load, and the size will not allow for as many vehicles to travel simultaneously.  A smaller vehicle will most likely also reward you with better gas mileage in the long run anyway.

The “When” Matters Too:  Transport trucks tend to be emptier during the winter months, so shipping your car during these off-peak times will most likely cost you less.  Also, shipping opposite directions of the “snowbirds” (who tend to ship South-North in March/April, and North-South in September/October) can allow you to negotiate a discount on a return trip.

Car Condition:  The most popular and cost-efficient way to ship a vehicle is in an open container, which allows for exposure to the elements, but still allows for little chance of damage.  However, if your car is a luxury vehicle or something very high-end, you may consider paying 25-40% more and opting for closed container shipping.  This is really dependent on the quality of your vehicle and is a decision you must make for yourself.

When dealing with reputable online car purveyors, such as eBay Motors, be sure to be aware of the website’s buyer protection policy prior to making a purchasing decision.  If you are dealing with Craigslist or another less than respectable website, please be wary of scams and protect yourself first, above all else.  These simple tips can help aid you in the post-purchase confusion that comes standard with making your first internet-based vehicle purchase.

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