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Buying a Car Online? Consider These Pros and Cons

Are you gearing up to buy your next car?

Buying a car used to involve going to a dealership, negotiating with salespeople and signing a pile of paperwork before you could drive away in your new ride. But now, you can buy a car from the comfort of home!

With today's online car-buying platforms, it's possible to search for new or used cars, make a selection and have your car delivered right to your driveway.

If you're in the market for a new (or new-to-you) vehicle, it's well worth it to do your research before making a decision. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of buying a car online:

Pros of Buying a Car Online

Purchasing a vehicle online comes with some unique advantages.

  • ​Online car shopping can provide peace of mind if you're trying to limit in-person interactions during the pandemic.
  • You can save time and gas money by browsing cars online instead of driving to several dealerships.
  • Most car-buying websites offer the ability to narrow your search by vehicle make, model, year, features and price. This can make it easier to find the right car for your budget.
  • You can take your time comparing cars and features without pressure from salespeople at a dealership.
  • Some websites offer a return policy in case you change your mind.

Cons of Buying a Car Online

There are also several drawbacks to consider when buying a car online. 

  • You might not be able to test-drive your car before making a purchase.
  • You'll need to plan for delivery time and possible delivery charges, rather than being able to drive your car off the dealership lot right away.
  • Because online shopping is so quick and convenient, it's easy to make impulse decisions before you've had a chance to do your homework.

Another factor to keep in mind is how you'll pay for your new or used vehicle. Do you have the money saved up, or do you plan to finance some (or all) of your purchase with an auto loan? Some online car-buying platforms offer in-house financing that you may pre-qualify for online. However, it's important to compare any offer from these sites with other financing options, including your credit union. 

We're Here to Help
At Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU), our auto loans feature low rates and flexible terms with the option of 100% financing. Applying for an​ auto loan online is quick and easy, plus there's no application fee, so you can get on the road faster! Whether you're buying a car from a dealership, a website or a private party deal, be sure to view the latest rates and compare your options.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to consider buying a car online! If you think this option is right for you, be sure to read reviews, prepare your budget and borrow smarter by researching auto loan rates.

P.S. Before you start car shopping, try out our useful auto calculators to help you determine what vehicle you can afford. This will also give you a better idea of how much your monthly payments will be based on your loan rate, term and down payment.