If you were interested in purchasing a new (or new to you) vehicle, the recent stay at home orders may have dampened your spirits. But you don’t necessarily have to venture out in public or compromise your safety to buy a new car. In fact, much of the process can be done from your own home.
Here are five things to consider when shopping for a car online.
1. Don’t just budget for the sticker price.Think ahead to ownership costs such as insurance, fuel and maintenance. And if you’re considering a lease, consider the projected terms of the lease, including any taxes. Determining what you can afford will help narrow your search parameters early.
2. Prequalify your loan. Check with your bank or credit union, then expand your search to include national lenders. Prequalifying gives you a negotiating chip with the dealer, who may be able to beat the loan terms and tack on incentives, such as no-interest financing.
3. Ask what precautions the dealer is taking for COVID-19. Discuss their policies for disinfecting vehicles and handling in-store and at-home delivery interactions. When meeting with sellers, take the necessary precautions. Wear a face mask, carry hand sanitizer, and observe social distancing guidelines.
4. Schedule a test drive. Online photos and virtual tours can’t give you a true feel for the vehicle. Most dealers should be willing to bring the vehicle to you, free of charge, and pick it up when you’re done. (Use disinfectant wipes on high-touch surfaces before driving.)
5. Be prepared to sign paperwork. While the bulk of the transaction can be easily handled online, most states do require an in-person signature to seal the deal. Ask the dealer to bring the paperwork to you when they deliver the vehicle.
For more advice on how to handle your automotive needs, reach out today.