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Top 20 Questions to Ask When Buying a Car Online

4 Mins read

Whether you are a regular online car buyer, or a newbie on the block testing his fate for the love of comfort, or simply compelled to do shop online for the sake of safety due to the pandemic. In that case, some imperative questions must be put in front of the car seller to ensure you lock on a sound deal.

We understand that firing away questions at your dealer feels unwise to do, but you are forgetting, it’s a matter of your car – a life asset. In fact, asking questions from a dealership is considered perfectly logical, sane and smart. A car dealer then finds you interested in the deal, filling you with all his automobile-wisdom for free.

Once you decide to buy a car online, we genuinely advise you to ask these questions from the seller or the salesperson.

1. Can I see the car’s model and trim from the lot?

It is essential for you to learn the real-time status of your vehicle.

2. May I know the total charges, freight and invoice included?

Mostly, vehicle prices go beyond the original MSRP – the listed price. So, conduct a thorough pricing evaluation before you pop up this question, so there are no grey areas involved.

3. Is there any aftermarket equipment installed that doesn’t come with the base model?

It’s essential to learn about extras added to your car since it affects the car’s warranty as well as the price. Also, equipment that is not part of the original demand, since it can surprise you at any given moment. Besides, you should definitely know if your car is entirely original or not.

4. Is it test-driven oftentimes? What’s the mileage?

Mostly brand-new cars are used for test drives which affects their mileage and the overall condition. So confirm the state thoroughly, even of a new vehicle.

5. What payment methods do you accept, or what are your financing options?

Sometimes there’s no need for you to go to a third-party bank for financing when your car dealer has all the services you need.

6. What is specifically covered in the warranty, and how long is it applicable for?

A vehicle’s warranty varies with the dealership and its manufacturers, especially the warranty period. So make sure you receive a thorough understanding of it.

7. Are there any discounts available?

You should never miss out on special offers or deals when it comes to vital investments, as saving thousands of dollars can help you greatly in the future.

8. Will you accept my current car as a trade-in?

Trading your old car for a new one can make a significant difference in the final payable amount as the current market value will be deducted from the cost of your new vehicle, leaving you with a fairly affordable price-point.

9. Can I take the car for a test drive?

Test drive is an imperative part of your car buying process as you experience the car profoundly as it helps you to select and compare amongst many.

10. When was it last serviced, and how do you maintain the car?

Asking this question with the dealer will help you determine if they take care of cars on the lot properly, and as some cars stay with them for an extended period and develop hidden problems, it will assist you in analyzing the car thoroughly especially if you are looking into used cars.

11. Can I have a look at the vehicle’s history report?

A vehicle’s history report is an unbiased document that comprehensively describes past damage, accidents, and everything that your dealer cannot market while selling you the car.

12. From where did you get the car?

Inquiring the dealership about the source of the car will decide whether you’d like to continue the deal or not. Knowing it’s brought from an auction, through trade-in, from manufacturers, will determine the dealership’s reliability all the while the car’s condition too.

13. How much will its long-term or routine maintenance cost me?

Never forget that worrying about your total car cost is not enough since you’ll need to know how its maintenance will affect your monthly or yearly budget.

14. What do your terms/policies and purchase agreements include?

Learning about terms and policies will make you knowledgeable of the leverage you have under certain circumstances, helping you stay legal while keeping an eye on the dealers as well when they try to step out of the policies.

In case it’s a pre-owned/used vehicle, consider asking the following questions as well;

15. May I learn about the previous owners of the car?

When it comes to used vehicles, learning about previous owners assists you in maintaining the car while giving you a clue about its actual condition.

16. Can I see its maintenance schedule and history?

It’s certainly possible that a used vehicle has been following up a different maintenance routine due to rising problems and its specific state.

17. Was there any recall issued over this vehicle, and were the previous recalls addressed?

 A recall is a red flag, one might surface especially when they are not attended to with due diligence. It determines the safety score of your car, whether it’s even secure to drive or not.

18.  Is it repaired or repainted? If yes, then why?

Again, any alteration to your original car can affect its warranty and the performance as well. Stay informed regarding all the repairs and the respective reasons to avoid future mishaps and misunderstandings.

19. Can you take it for an extended test drive?

To absolutely ensure that the car is an ideal fit for your lifestyle and unique needs, an extended test drive is what you need. Ask the dealer if you can keep it for a day or a few hours for the least, and see if you’re comfortable with it or not. In case the dealer doesn’t allow it, you can always walk away.

20. Can you have insights and all the required details about its warranty?

Pre-owned and used vehicleshave different warranties, and it varies from car to car and the manufacturer. You should know what it covers and anything that can affect or benefit you. 

From test drives, vehicle reports to financial know-how and pricing evaluation, all these questions will eventually lead to your comprehensive survey of the vehicle and dealership, helping you analyse the deal at-hand from all aspects. The more time you spend on clearing your head by asking all the queries mentioned above, the more it will make your buying process quick, easy, and secure.

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