How Car Home Delivery Works When You Buy a Car Online

Are you one of the 43% of automobile shoppers that want to perform the entire car-buying process online without ever stepping foot in a dealership?

This scenario is now possible thanks to advancements in car home delivery.

The internet has revolutionized the car-buying process in the 21st century, and home delivery is a purchasing method that has significantly evolved in legitimacy. Add the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and more shoppers are turning to car delivery services to avoid contact with others.

However, this trend that has emerged out of a crisis is not likely to go anywhere soon. The online car buying process is more streamlined and convenient than the traditional method.

Keep reading to learn how you can purchase your next car without ever stepping foot outside your home.

How Online Car Buying Differs From Traditional Car Buying

Buying a vehicle online has many advantages over the traditional purchasing process. No one enjoys the haggling and negotiations that occur on car dealership lots day after day. The face-to-face negotiation between car shoppers and sales professionals is one of the last existing forms of price negotiation, but the practice is slowly fizzling out.

Luckily, you can now complete almost every step of the car buying process online. In some cases, a visit to the dealership for a test drive, sign the necessary paperwork, or accept delivery of the vehicle may be required. However, even that process is changing thanks to auto transport services that can deliver your new ride to your home.

Tesla has been at the forefront of this revolution, providing a car purchasing process that you can complete exclusively online. Tesla dealerships aren't actual auto dealerships but showrooms. If you wish to purchase a Tesla, you complete the process on a kiosk or from your computer at home.

Tesla's purchasing model is unique in that it doesn't allow for negotiation, as the price you pay is the price listed, and no one is present to negotiate with.

Why Schedule Auto Transport Services?

Having your new car delivered to your home is exceptionally convenient for you as a buyer. Imagine avoiding the hassle of a 3+ hour visit to the dealership and sitting back waiting on your scheduled delivery instead.

One of the best cases for car home delivery is that it removes the stress of driving a brand new vehicle off the car lot. You don't have to sit around while you wait for your new car to be washed, inspected, and prepped. You also don't have to listen to the salesperson rattle off a list of features and functionality that you'll forget before you get home.

What if the car dealership you purchase from isn't easily accessible from your home? Sometimes finding the best car deals requires you to travel long distances. If you drive hours to buy a car, you'll be exhausted by the time you get home—unless you managed to secure a backup driver.

Some dealerships arrange for free home delivery, while others may charge a small delivery fee. It's possible to secure free delivery during the negotiating process, as some dealers will drop or lower the cost to sell the car.

Next, we'll discuss the process of purchasing a car online and having it delivered to your home.

Researching Vehicles Online

When purchasing a car, it's always essential to do your research first—and this is even more necessary when buying one online.

If you're shopping in person, you don't have to be as cautious because you can evaluate your options firsthand.

You can efficiently perform vehicle research on your home computer or smartphone and assess dozens of vehicle types and models without hopping between dealerships. There are several benefits to researching cars online, including:

  • Searching and comparing new cars available in your area
  • Requesting new car price quotes without having to do so in person
  • Utilizing free tools such as car loan calculators
  • Understanding the average price paid for similar vehicles in your area
  • Finding the MSRP prices of cars you're considering
  • Finding dealer incentive and customer rebate information
  • Reading vehicle road tests, safety ratings, and reviews
  • Researching vehicle fuel economy ratings
  • Evaluating recall histories, maintenance costs, and statistics

Several online car review websites allow you to access this information in one place. You can begin with a broad search and then start weeding out vehicles you're not interested in.

Once you've narrowed down your search, you can start comparing vehicles by specifications, safety ratings, notable awards, price, or whatever is most important to you. When you've decided which vehicle you want, you can quickly request a no-obligation price quote from the car company or dealership.

If you're simply curious or testing the waters before you decide to buy, car review websites are your best bet. They'll provide you with valuable information during the research phase to make the best decision for your situation.

What Information Should You Collect?

When researching potential vehicles, there are several points of data to collect, including:

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Year, make, model, and trim
  • Manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP)
  • Option packages and prices
  • Vehicle destination charge

The vehicle destination charge is essential when considering the actual cost of the car or negotiating with the dealer. If the car's sticker is available, check for an addendum sticker as well. The addendum sticker will list any extras that the dealer has added to the vehicle, along with the pricing of the upgrades.

While most dealerships are honest, you'll want to note whether the dealer options listed are actually installed on the vehicle.

Shopping Online Car Listings for Car Home Delivery

As you consider vehicles, filter your search for cars available for auto transport and home delivery. When you've found options, it's recommended that you schedule a test drive. It's vital to be vigilant when reviewing options in person.

Most car dealerships that provide home delivery services will allow you to schedule a test drive ahead of your purchase. Some companies will even deliver the vehicle to your home for a test drive. If the dealership you're considering is far away, the least you should do is schedule a test drive of a similar vehicle in your local area.

Automakers and car dealers are continuing to update their test drive and purchasing policies due to the effects of COVID-19. Therefore, it's best to skip the assumptions and ask about their current policies.

Not only doesn't shopping for vehicles online help you find deals in your area, but it allows you to open your search across a wider geological area. If you can search a radius of hundreds of miles, you'll be able to find better deals.

For example, if you're shopping for a large pickup truck, check urban dealerships where trucks may not be as popular. Similarly, check rural areas for hybrid vehicles, as they may not be in demand in those areas.

Searching for Deals

Not all vehicles are money-makers for automotive manufacturers. If car sales flop or a vehicle isn't meeting expectations, salespeople may offer money-saving incentives to encourage sales.

If you're looking for certified pre-owned or new vehicles, check manufacturer incentives to see if there are any for the models you're considering. Sometimes there are low-interest financing offers, cash rebates, and even subsidized leases.

Cashback rebates can significantly lower the overall car price, while you can save thousands with a low-interest loan. With a lease deal, you can lower the amount of cash due at signing or reduce your monthly payment.

Securing Financing for an Online Car Purchase

As you near the end of your car purchasing journey, get preapproved for financing before continuing the process.

It would be best if you never approached a dealership—in person or online—without a financing deal in hand. Having a preapproved loan in your back pocket can help you set a realistic price range. It also gives sales professionals a benchmark deal to beat if they want to be the ones to win your business.

Getting a preapproved car loan online is simple. You can find loans available at credit unions, banks, and other lenders, or choose a website that allows you to submit an application to multiple vendors at once.

As you're considering options, keep in mind that a vehicle is never an investment. As soon as you get into your new car, its value is already depreciating. For this reason, it's not wise to secure a high-interest auto loan. In most cases, the value of your vehicle will drop more quickly than you can repay the loan. Then, you end up paying more than the car is worth in the end.

Always keep the financing term as short as possible. While the monthly payment is higher, the interest rates are lower. If you're negotiating by monthly payment, you're haggling over interest rates, not the price of the car. Suddenly, the monthly payment amount can drop by $100 or more, but you're not paying any less for the vehicle. Instead, you're paying more in interest.

The longer it takes you to pay off your vehicle, the more you'll pay. While it's tempting to stretch out the length of the loan, you'll likely end up upside down on your car for the entirety of the loan.

Eliminating Face-to-Face Negotiations

If you hate stressful, face-to-face negotiations with car salespeople, you'll love the benefits of purchasing a car online through a dealership. Negotiation is a process that frightens many car buyers. They're terrified that the negotiations will be counterproductive, even when they have the potential to save enormous amounts of money. This apprehension turns many people off.

While buying a car online doesn't mean the process will be hassle-free. However, the stress of sitting across a desk from a dealer is reduced. You'll still be able to negotiate, but you can take the time to think through the process and do so through chat, email, or over the phone.

You'll be able to evaluate offers fully before you respond. You're also not limited to negotiations within office hours, so you can strike a deal during a timeframe that works for you.

Tips for Negotiating Online

When you begin negotiating, remember that you can't suggest a lower price after making your first offer. A seller also can't suggest a higher price after their initial offer.

The car's sticker price, or MSRP, is not crucial in the negotiation. This time is when your online research shines. Reading car reviews to glean insights you can use in the negotiation process can give you an idea of how much you should pay. Of course, you'll likely pay more than you want to, but in most cases, the dealer will accept less than advertised. That's simply how negotiating works.

Another benefit of online negotiation is that all emotions are removed from the situation. In the heat of the moment, it's easy to forget that negotiating over the price of a vehicle is a business transaction. While you're trying to get the best deal, the dealer also needs to make money on the purchase.

However, if you sense something off or unethical about the deal, it's okay to stop the process and look elsewhere.

Scheduling a Car Delivery

Once you've negotiated with a dealership (online or in-person) and purchased a vehicle, you can arrange for car delivery services. Depending on how far the car needs to travel, you may have to pay a small delivery fee. In return, you can enjoy waiting at home for your vehicle to be delivered to your driveway.

During a time when safety is still a concern due to COVID-19, this is an attractive option for new car buyers.

Keep in mind that you may be able to negotiate the delivery fee along with the car price.

While scheduling a car home delivery, you may be required to fill out some last-minute paperwork on the day of delivery. You also might have to pay last-minute delivery fees. Typically, the auto transport company will only charge a reservation fee before transporting the vehicle.

Bill of Lading

If you've never had a dealership deliver a car to your home before, you may not have heard of a Bill of Lading before. It's a legal document issued to the shipper by the carrier. The document details the destination, type, and quantity of the shipped goods. This also serves as a receipt of shipment when the transporter delivers the vehicle to its destination.

The Bill of Lading will highlight essential information about the delivery, including delivery vehicle and driver information. It serves as legal documentation during the entire vehicle transportation process. In most cases, you'll sign the Bill of Lading once the vehicle reaches your driveway.

Never sign a Bill of Lading before examining the vehicle and ensuring that it meets your expectations.

Tips for Inspecting Your New Car

When your car reaches your driveway, the first thing to do is to inspect it for faults and damage carefully. You can always have a friend or professional with you to assist during this process to make sure you're not missing anything.

Scratches and dings are the most apparent faults to look out for, but also check for irregular paint color, dull finish, or spots of paints. While your new car will still drive fine, these minor faults can affect the vehicle's resale price.

Once you've inspected the exterior, check the interior as well. If you selected a specific package, be sure the dealership installed these features. These features include aesthetic updates, electronic upgrades, and so forth. If any items you have paid for are missing, notify the dealer immediately before signing the Bill of Lading.

Other inspection tasks to perform include:

  • Making sure that the seats adjust easily
  • Locate the car's owner's manual
  • Test all features, including GPS, radio, lights, and other electronics
  • Check the functionality of all door locks, windows, windshield wipers, climate control, and turn signals
  • Read the odometer and compare it to the distance of transport and delivery if the auto transporter drove the car to you

In most cases, you'll find your vehicle in excellent condition. Once you've finished the inspection and signed the paperwork to complete the delivery, you're ready to take your first drive in your new vehicle!

What If the Delivered Vehicle Is Not as Described?

It's a nightmarish scenario: your vehicle arrives at your home, and it's nothing like the one you selected online. However rare, this could happen, and what happens when it does?

Sometimes it's not as extreme as described above. For example, the mileage may not match the paperwork, or the dealership delivers a car that's the wrong color.

If the vehicle is not up to your expectations, you can dispute the delivery. This scenario is why some paperwork isn't completed until the car is delivered. The best thing you can do in this scenario is not to sign the paperwork.

If you sign the vehicle delivery paperwork and then notice a discrepancy when the vehicle arrives, you may be out of luck.

However, this scenario is unlikely—even improbable. Most dealerships act in good faith and would never operate in this way. They will advise that you wait until receipt of the vehicle before signing anything. Always follow this recommendation to increase the likelihood that your new car is delivered accurately, efficiently, and safely.

The Future of Car Delivery Services

As technology continually evolves and becomes available to the general public, these new methods change how we conduct everyday life. In the future, for example, driving may become less popular. As a direct result, vehicle transportation options may begin to dominate the industry in the next few decades.

If we continue to adopt these technologies rapidly, this shift in the industry may occur as soon as the next 25 years. Many businesses call for vehicle shipping services but don't feign surprise if companies begin expanding services directly to consumers.

As we move into the future, video conferencing software may be the medium we use to negotiate car purchases. There are ways to review financial information, as well digitally. With that said, online car purchases will become significantly more prevalent in the coming years.

Auto transportation is now a service that people are using every day. Soon, door-to-door vehicle delivery may be the norm.

Self-Driving Vehicle Delivery

Self-driving vehicles are already making their debut on public roads. Knowing which direction the industry is headed, it's not difficult to imagine a world where self-driving cars begin to deliver themselves.

While we're likely several years, even decades, away from this technology, it's not unlikely that this could be the future of vehicle delivery.

How self-driving vehicles will affect auto transportation is unclear. Some auto transport companies may eventually take advantage of this feature. Imagine self-driving trucks that make delivering automobiles and goods autonomous. This could lead to even more widely available and convenient vehicle delivery.

Will You Have Your Next Car Delivered to Your Home?

When you're busy with work, have a family to care for at home, or to choose to stay home due to the recent pandemic, car home delivery is an attractive option for many reasons.

If you've ever considered utilizing an auto transport company for your car delivery needs, it's an excellent time to test the process.

Home vehicle delivery is safe and convenient. Sometimes, it makes customers more comfortable than if they were to transport the vehicle themselves. Car delivery services can take a lot of stress and anxiety off your shoulders by allowing you to choose the day and time of your delivery.

It doesn't matter how far away you live from the dealership. Our safe and secure vehicle carriers can deliver vehicle sup to thousands of miles away to the destination of your choice. When choosing a reliable auto transportation partner, you can transport your new vehicle across the country in days.

Determining the cost of your vehicle delivery is easy with our car shipping cost calculator. When you're considering your next vehicle shipment, click here for an anonymous, instant car shipping quote.

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