A survey from a leading internet search engine has found that more and more people are heading online for their next used car. Google has revealed research into how online used car buyers search for vehicles which has found that more buyers are searching for vehicles on the web – and through a range of devices.
But, is buying a car online as safe as buying one from a local dealer? We look at the changing way that people are buying used cars and outline the differences you should watch out for when purchasing a second hand car on the web.
Nearly three quarters of buyers using the web to search for their next used car
The research from Google has revealed that more people are undertaking the entire used car buying process across multiple digital devices.
The search company’s automotive industry manager, Alex Rose, said: “74 per cent of people in the UK are now using the internet to find their next used car, taking on average more than three months to do so.
“While doing it, they are visiting an average of 18.2 sites, but most interestingly, under-25s are actually visiting 25 different websites on their search journey.”
What Car? reports that ‘Google is also warning that traditional opening times must be re-written, because people expect a swift response and not just during the ‘normal’ working day.’
The research also found that more and more buyers are arranging their used car finance through the internet. Mr Rose added: “It’s now twice as likely that someone will research and arrange their new-car finance online compared with 2010, but for used cars, it’s now more like three times as likely.”
While it may be easier than ever to find a used car online, what should you look out for when buying from an internet seller? Keep reading to find out.
Steps you should take when buying a used car online
While buying a car online might help you to get a better deal, you should take the following steps:
- View the car before you buy. See if you can view it at the seller’s business premises or home
- Research the company if possible. Look for recommendations or online forums containing feedback. The ISIS logo shows that an online dealer has met certain standards
- Read the small print before you buy
- Print a copy of the advert – the description and photos can help you if you have a problem later on
- Get an independent report into the car’s condition
- Consider paying for the car by credit card as this may give you some protection against fraud or problems with the dealer going out of business
Your rights when buying a car online
Your consumer rights depend on where you bought the used car from:
- If you buy a used car from a dealer over the internet, your rights are the same as when buying a car from a dealer in person. You may also have additional rights under the Distance Selling Regulations, including a ‘cooling off’ period, during which you can change your mind and cancel your order
- If you buy a used car from a private seller online, you have the same rights as when you buy a used car from a private seller in person. You have fewer rights than if you buy a car from a dealer
- If you buy a car in an online auction, you may also have fewer rights, especially if you buy from a private seller
A word of caution: safety tips for buying and selling online
If you are purchasing privately, or even selling a car for that matter:
- Always ensure that you have someone else present to ensure you are safe and that your whereabouts are known
- Don’t get into a car with a stranger; perhaps consider asking for collateral if allowing someone to take a test drive
- Bring a friend or ensure others are around when negotiating a deal
- Listen to you instincts and act accordingly
Author Bio: Vincent Hill is Marketing Executive at First Vehicle Leasing. First Vehicle Leasing provides best car leasing solutions to all over United Kingdom.