How to Buy a Car Online

Buying a car online can prove to be a risky business for the unwary.

I would go as far as to say that you should never buy a vehicle without viewing it first.

Many online sellers sometimes insist that bidders should take a look at the car before placing a bid.

Cars are a complex piece of machinery with many parts which wear out as the car is used.

Combined with this, the car becomes scuffed and scratched over the years.

To describe a used car and it’s true condition is not that easy.

Over describing the car and pointing out the minutest of faults will put off bidders.

Under describe the car and there is a possibility that the lucky highest bidder will complain that the car was not described correctly.

The happy medium is somewhere between the under and over described description.

When contemplating buying a car from an online car auction high quality photos are a must so you can see as much detail as possible. With the digital camera there is no excuse for blurred pictures

People can take photos of good quality with the simplest of the digital cameras on sale today.

If the photos are not clear and the description is vague, avoid bidding even if the car looks something of a bargain.


Use the ask the seller a question facility to find out more about the car you are considering bidding on. Don’t be too concerned about asking daft questions.

You can find out a lot about the seller from their reply and the tone of the response.

I find that some sellers fall over themselves to be as helpful as possible offering all sorts of information about the car being sold.

Whilst other sellers, some give curt, abrupt, even bordering on rude answers. Some don’t even bother to reply.

If you feel that you have the complete picture (metaphorically speaking) of the car you want to bid on clear in your head, together with an idea of what your maximum bid will be, then place a bid.

For instance, eBay allows you to place a maximum bid and this is the best way of bidding in online car auctions.
You feel less tempted then to increase your bid over your maximum as the software does this automatically for you as others place bids on the same car.

Just place your maximum bid and leave it until after the auction has finished. If you are the winner, you will be notified by email if you are successful.

You can then make contact with the seller and arrange payment and collection. Do not be pressured by the seller into paying for the car before you see it.


Insist on viewing the car first. Satisfy yourself that it is as described, check the documentation and then pay over the money.

If for some reason you feel that the car has been mis-described and there are faults, discuss this with the seller. If you still wish to buy the car, see if there is a possibility of getting a reduction in the price.

If you cannot reach a financial agreement and you are feeling that the car is not worth buying because it was not as described, explain your reasons to the seller and agree to cancel the sale.

This has to be borne in mind when bidding in an online car auction.

There are buying safeguards in place from the larger online auctions to protect both the buyer and the seller so whether you are buying or selling cars you should be fairly safe.

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