I have posted an extensive series of articles about buying a car, yet I’m still amazed when something new turns up to make buying a car easier or cheaper. I have provided plenty of tips for dealing with sales people at traditional auto dealerships and how to avoid them altogether. Tesla lets you buy its cars without even going to a dealer, which rivals and dealers in many states are trying to fight by lobbing for legislation against it. You can even buy cars without haggling at places like COSTCO and Navy Federal Credit Union; in fact COSTCO is one of the largest auto sellers. So it is probably inevitable that a new set of companies sells its cars over the internet.
Companies like VROOM, SHIFT, CARVANA, and BEEPI let you buy used cars on the internet almost as easily as for TVs and clothes. Not only do they aim to make car buying easier and haggle-free, but also cheaper as they don’t have as much overhead expenses such as car lots, show rooms, and sales staff. Details and regions covered vary among these companies, but generally they inspect/fix/certify their vehicles, let you search online, offer financing, delivery the car to you, help with the DMV paperwork, and offer a 7-10 day trial period to ensure you like the car. They even will buy your used car and take trade-ins, but remember to get competing offers from places like CarMax.
Remember to “avoid paying full price”, you should always do your research and comparison shop, especially for such a major purchase. So even for these easy to use online sites, you still need to do your homework. Check places like Kelly Bluebook for sale prices of similar cars. Shop for competing financing online, your local bank, or credit union. Whether or not you are ready to go this route for a major purchase, they are certainly worth checking out as you do your research and price comparison online, at dealers, or thru a car buying program. Choices and competition are nice so it’s likely worthwhile to add this new way to comparison shop for buying a car to your other car buying options.