Auto Service World
News   August 1, 2023   by Auto Service World Staff

To Buy a Car Online or Not – Is it Safe?

Buying a car online is just one of the newest trends available, thanks to advances in technology. Everyone is so busy with life that it’s a challenge to go spend hours and hours at a dealership to make a car purchase. That’s why so many people have turned to purchasing a car online and skipping the hassle of heading out in person. 

But is it truly safe to buy a car online, or is this one of those trends you’re better off avoiding? There are certainly pros and cons to online car buying. The process is quite different from buying in person. Here, we break down some of those differences and share the pros and cons you should be aware of. 

Buying a Car Online: How It Works

When you buy a car online, you certainly want to use caution. If you are buying from an individual, you need to make arrangements to see the car and perhaps even have it inspected. For the purpose of this guide, we are focusing on purchasing online through car sale sites or dealers. We recommend trying one of the best online car buying sites to give you the best odds for a great experience. 

When you buy a car online, you have a larger platform of options to choose from. Most online car sites have extensive search capabilities to help you find the perfect car for your needs. Some sites include private sellers as well as dealerships, and they act as the third party, giving you a more protected approach to your purchase. 

The online sales process is streamlined in a sense. You can search inventories or look for certain cars and certain price ranges to find what works for you. Some online car sites allow you to go through the entire process online and even bring the car directly to you for delivery. Others might require you to finish the process in person. It simply depends on the provider. 

Pros and Cons of Online Car Buying

You will find that there are both advantages and disadvantages of online car buying. It’s not the right fit for everyone. Understanding the differences simply helps you determine whether this could work well for your car-buying needs. 

Check out these pros and cons! 


  • Search for a larger inventory
  • Complete the sale at your convenience
  • Avoid hours in a dealership
  • Compare vehicles to make an informed decision
  • Finish the process from the comfort of your home. 


  • Potential for dishonesty
  • You may not be able to negotiate
  • It’s hard to see the little details of the car that matter

Buying a Car in Person

Some people operate better with in-person communication and visibility. If you like to physically put your hands and eyes on the car and work with an individual to complete a sale, this is likely a better option for you. 

When you choose to buy a car in person, you may be more limited to what they have available on the lot. If they can order or trade to get the vehicle you want, you will have a waiting period before getting to take the car home with you. Buying in person, you get the benefit of dealing with people and negotiating to your heart’s content. You get to test the car out and decide if it’s really what you are looking for. 

This generally leads to a more informed approach to car buying, but it also is less convenient. 

Pros and Cons of In-Person Car Buying

Just like with online car purchases, there are pros and cons to be aware of. Take a look at these! 


  • Work with an individual
  • See the car in person and test drive
  • More negotiation potential
  • You might get a better deal
  • Personalized customer service


  • Time spent at a dealership adds up
  • There may be a lot of pressure and sales tactics

 You simply never know if you can trust the car salesmen, but this applies to both online and in-person sales. 

The Final Verdict

When you consider the difference between buying a car online or in person, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. If you want to see and try the car, you should visit a dealership in person. If you want the convenience and simplicity of doing things from your home, then online car buying will be great for you! 

Online car buying is a trend that likely isn’t going to go away. Many people still prefer in-person sales, but there is no doubt that many appreciate the convenience of completing a car purchase without ever leaving their recliner. Buying a car online is perfectly safe when you do your due diligence and purchase from a reliable party. 

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