The Pros and Cons of Buying a Car Online - Genisys® Credit Union

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The Pros and Cons of Buying a Car Online

on 9/1/2021

Couple buying a car online

When looking to buy a new car, chances are you still consider local dealerships the place to go. However, as the world continues to turn more digital, innovative auto companies are changing the landscape and implementing online car buying. 

Unquestionably, when you buy a car online, there are benefits and drawbacks. While the past endorses the conventional brick-and-mortar dealership car-buying process, those looking to the future see a trend that points to increased online car purchases. Below are the pros and cons of buying your next car online.


1. Saves Time

One of the significant benefits of buying a car online is that it often saves time. No one likes spending the whole day at a car dealership trying to close a deal. With the traditional in-person method, car buyers and dealer personnel can spend hours negotiating a single transaction. Buying cars online can simplify the process, allowing the customer to do time-consuming tasks, such as filling out documents at their leisure. 

2. Greater Selection

When you go to a physical dealer, your buying options are limited by what is currently available on the lot. On the other hand, buying online allows you to browse selections from many sources and get exactly what you desire. If you want to choose from a wider range of vehicles available, purchasing online can be the ideal place to start.

3. No Sales Pressure

One of the greatest complaints when buying a car is pushy salespeople. When you buy a car online, it’s not conducted by a salesperson whose livelihood depends solely on the deals they are able to complete. 

4. Better Prices

Online car sellers don't have the same overhead costs as traditional dealerships. As a result, they are able to pass these savings on to you and sell cars at lower and more competitive prices. 


1. Inability To Physically Inspect the Car

While there are many positives to buying a car online, there are some negatives. The inability to see and physically inspect the car before buying it is one of those. Of course, most online sellers offer customers photos and videos of each vehicle, but nothing can replace a close-up and personal view of the car.

2. Absence of Test-Driving 

Buyers often don't have the opportunity to take a car out for a test drive before buying it. This is a shortcoming because, for many, "driving is believing."

3. Inability To Negotiate on Price or Terms

Another drawback of buying a vehicle online is the relative inability to negotiate prices or terms. As a result, some astute negotiators may miss the opportunity to land themselves a great deal.

4. Limited Financing Options

When buying a vehicle online, you may experience limited financing options. The online model may restrict you to a single lender or to just a few that the seller has a relationship with already. This aspect may end up costing you more on the financing side.

Final Takeaway

Deciding whether buying a car online is right for you depends on what you are looking for in your transaction. If you want speed, convenience, and peace of mind, an online purchase can be an excellent option for you. 

The most important thing to remember is that buying a vehicle is a significant financial decision that can impact your budget for several years. It’s always wise to stop by the Credit Union as we’re here to answer all your questions and help you make the right financial decisions. 


© Genisys Credit Union and, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Genisys Credit Union and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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