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Buying a Car Online

As a buyer, your next vehicle might not be available at a local dealership or from private sellers nearby. Online auctions and classified websites can make buying a car sight unseen straightforward and take the headache out of the process. When you’re not limited by geography, you can target your search by make, model and – most importantly – cost. Finding the car you want within your budget has never been easier.

When you buy a car online or in person, you expect to pay a specific amount. With the exception of shipping and third-party inspection costs, the price of a vehicle listed online is the amount a buyer can usually expect to actually pay. Unlike the sticker price on a car from a dealership, there are rarely hidden fees, upcharges or unexpected taxes. As a buyer, you don’t have to haggle with a salesperson over the price or talk them out of upselling you on additional features and coverage. As a seller, you don’t have to deal with a buyer who insists on paying less than your asking price. With PaySAFE® Escrow, buying or selling a car online is a secure and seamless process for all parties involved.

Where to buy online

Interested buyers and sellers can participate in a growing number of auction types.

On-Site and Online Live Auctions

Going once, going twice, sold…Sound familiar? Bidding takes place in real time and is conducted either online within a website or in person. The highest bidder wins and all participants are able to hear or see each bid as it arrives.

Webcast Auctions

Similar to live on-site auctions, these auctions are also conducted in real time, but the auctioneer and participants participate via webcast. Like on-site and online live auctions, the highest bidder walks away with the purchase.

Sealed Bid Auctions

Sealed bid auctions are structured to prevent participants from viewing or hearing one another’s bids. Bids are submitted to the auctioneer or auction house in sealed envelopes and the participant with the highest bidder wins.

Timed Online Auctions

Bidders have a number of hours, days or weeks to bid on the item in question. Interested bidders must ensure they have the last and highest bid when the auction closes to be awarded the purchase.
For more tips about buying and selling vehicles online, read our blog posts about selling cars as part of an estate, the six best used cars for your money and the top websites for buying and selling cars online.