Buying a car via internet

<p>I need a new car (probably used), and have been researching inventory on the internet. Can someone share their experience buying from a dealership's 'internet manager'. What is the process, and where does the test drive come in. Thanks!</p>

<p>For new cars, I've found that it basically just connects you with the dealership's fleet department which is usually now a combined fleet/internet department. You can usually do any haggling via email although there shouldn't be a lot of haggling - you should be able to get a low price to begin with and maybe go a bit lower than that. You can get prices this way form several dealers in your area if you have them, and compare the prices and go with the best. They're not all the same and some dealerships are easier to deal with than others. </p>

<p>For a test drive you can do this anyplace before you start dealing with the internet people or you can do one after you get the price and before you sign anything. </p>

<p>I don't know how all this would work with a used car at a dealership although I assume it's similar but with perhaps more haggling. I've purchased new cars this way before and it's vastly better than walking in and dealing with a salesman who'll always do the typical salesman hijinks. I've also found that I can get a bit better price this way than using the Costco or AAA car buying services.</p>

<p>Just bought a car through the internet department of a car dealer. </p>

<p>We spent a Saturday at dealerships, driving a bunch of different kids of cars. Decided on a car, but there wasn't a lot of inventory on any lot--nothing that completely fit what we wanted.</p>

<p>Came home, H filled out a little cars.com survey (what you want, what color, package, your location, etc.). Cars.com emailed a bunch of dealers in our area and 3 emailed him back the next day. All 3 said that they didn't have the car on the lot. </p>

<p>2 said that they were sure they could find him a suitable car and would he like to come down to the dealership. NO!!</p>

<p>One said that she had located 3 cars that fit our specs in the state of California and if we were serious, she would dicker with them and try to get that car for us. We said we were serious. She gave us a price that was cheaper than using the Costco buying service. Good enough for me!</p>

<p>Signed papers on Tuesday and could have picked the car up on Thursday when it was delivered.</p>

<p>Easy, easy, easy...</p>

<p>We bought a used car on ebay from 1,000 miles away from a dealership, conditional to an inspection/test drive that we hired to a mechanic located in that region. After the auction ended, and the area mechanic (unrelated to the dealership) found it in good shape, the dealership's driver drove it to our house, delivered it to our door, then disappeared from sight (stayed in a motel somewhere then bussed himself home, or drove some other job for all I know). The cost of that was part of the strategy behind bidding for the car, depending on the disntace from our region. The same car if found in (for example) Connecticut we bid on less than the same car in St. Louis because from St. Louis (for us) it was a much longer drive-to-us. </p>

<p>It worked out fine for us. That's why I drive a (very) used Cadillac. IT's a hoot. But I don't think that's exactly what you're looking ofr; it's just worth it to tell people I bought my Cadillac on Ebay.</p>

<p>I also bought a new car through a dealer's internet manager, starting with cars.com. It was the best experience I've ever had buying a car. There was no haggling. The cost was almost 10% less than the Costco dealer's price from our first email and just barely above invoice. The dealer arranged to get the car in the color I wanted from another dealer across the state at no extra cost, even though I told him that it wasn't very important to me. I had test driven cars and selected what I wanted before I contacted the dealers for bids.</p>

<p>A friend's son bought a used car from a dealer through ebay, just as paying3tuitions did. His experience was the same, including hiring a mechanic in the area to check out the car. For "delivery" he and his father flew to the dealer's city and had a nice 2-day road trip up the Pacific coast in the son's new car.</p>

<p>^ that delivery trip sounds nice and worth the flight costs.</p>

<p>
[quote]
a used car from a dealer through ebay,

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</p>

<p>Yes, I wouldn't buy from an anonymous private individual off of Ebay selling something as costly as a car. The used car dealerships, however, are subject to the same accountability in their home states as they have if you walk onto their lot in person. I think what they do is choose a car or three that they think might benefit from exposure to a larger geographic region than surrounds them, take some pictures and try it on Ebay. In terms of the backing of business accountability, I think it's important to use a Car Dealership with an address and public presence in that city, rather than an individual living in a home or apartment and far away. Indiana91's friend (in paragraph #2) as well as ourselves, were involved with a recognizable Used Car Dealership in a distant city, advertising a car currently on its lot, using Ebay to widen the market exposure.</p>

<p>Just paid off the new car I purchased through the internet. Did my research on the type of car I wanted, then went to dealerships and test-drove them. When I knew what I wanted, I filled out the survey and 4 dealerships contacted me. I used them against each other until the price wouldn't go down any lower. Went to the dealership near me where the car was waiting for me. No muss, no fuss, and the price was right!</p>

<p>BTW, I also was pre-approved at my credit union and was able to use that in my negotiations at the dealership to get better financing.</p>

<p>We bought our most recent (one year old) car with internet help.</p>

<p>Researched what model, features we wanted then searched on cars.com and ebay (limiting to 25 mile radius) to see what was available locally. We didn't want to buy site unseen even though we know others who had done son successfully.</p>

<p>Located a car that fit our needs about 15 miles away and went to see it and test drive.
Car was marked in dealer showroom $2500 over the internet listing that we brought with us in our pocket. Test drove, carfax, signed the papers.</p>

<p>I doubt that our negotiating skills would have gotten us down to the internet price.....
I would never consider just walking into a dealer without investigating online first.</p>

<p>Thanks, all! As long as I can make a deal contingent on inspection/test drive, then I feel comfortable about it. In looking up internet car buying, that part of the process wasn't obvious.</p>

<p>I bought my Prius like this:</p>

<ol>
<li>Went to some dealerships on line and asked for a quote.</li>
<li>Did the same thing through Costco's auto program. </li>
<li>Got calls & prices - some by email, some by phone, most by both - often in 10 minutes. No haggling at all.</li>
<li>Since I already had test driven the car, I went to dealership and signed the contract.</li>
</ol>

<p>In my case, I got a call back from a local dealer and the sales guy wasn't very helpful. 45 minutes later the sales manager called my back, asked if the guy was helpful and when I said no, asked what my best price was and beat that by $500. I was already happy with the price so I made that buy.</p>

<p>Costco generated the 2nd lowest price.</p>

<p>I test drove a few first so I knew what I wanted. THEN I emailed all the dealers selling the vehicle in my area and told them what I wanted. I then started negotiating with all of them, bidding them off each other, all via email. I didn't have go anywhere. When I made a deal, I went to the dealership and did the paperwork for the said car.</p>

<p>Mine was new so somewhat different for used. For used- from private vendor or dealership- I would purchase an inspection from AAA. For like $150 bucks, they come out and give the car a 160 point inspection- gives you peace of mind AND you can use the report to further negotiate off the final price. If the seller balks at getting the inspection, you walk away (fast!).</p>

<p>
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As long as I can make a deal contingent on inspection/test drive, then I feel comfortable about it.

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</p>

<p>Just be sure the inspector/test driver is somehow a business independent from the car dealership, so you get an honest opinion and not just collusion.</p>

<p>Also check Edmunds prices paid forums. You can filter posts by keyword, putting in the name of your state and neighboring ones and figure out where the lowest priced dealerships are (be sure to note the model and options being discussed so you know that you are comparing apples to apples). Then use that dealership as the one that all the others, especially your local place, have to beat.</p>

<p>What I would suggest Dontpanic1 is that you find someone in the area of where the car is being sold to do a test drive and a visual inspection. When my parents were looking for an SUV we found a real nice 2006 Mercedes ML350 that was in Florida. I went to a Mercedes Benz forum and posted in the Florida subforum and found a member who went to the dealership where the suv was being sold and took hi resolution photos for us and also did a test drive of the suv. He reported back to us and told us the suv was in great shape and from what he could tell had no problems. It paid off for us and we got a great deal.</p>