eBay Auto Transport
The online shopping world is full of bargains and hidden gems and large purchases are no exceptions. One of the biggest purchases we make in life is to buy a new vehicle and it’s becoming more common for consumers to not only research autos online, but also buy them over the internet. Sites like eBay Motors have grown exponentially and fewer people are walking into dealerships to buy cars every year
Even customers that use the traditional route for purchasing a car typically spend several hours online researching and comparing prices first. This has completely changed the way the auto industry operates. Consumers are now able to pinpoint the exact car or truck they want, right down to the color, without even stepping foot inside a dealership.
Technology has accelerated the pace of online auto buying for customers and given them access to more information and options than ever before. There’s more transparency in both the practices and pricing methods of auto dealers and customers can do everything from research to negotiating to purchasing a vehicle, all at the click of a button.
As consumers become more comfortable with online purchases of big ticket items, it begs the question of auto buyers: how do you transport a car you bought on eBay to a different city or state?
Delivery Options For An eBay Auto Purchase
There are a few ways to transport an online car purchase, but they ultimately boil down to one of three options. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.
- Drive It
This is probably the first thing that occurs to most people, particularly first-time online car shoppers. This is not always a bad option, especially if you’ve had a mechanic look at the vehicle and feel confident that it can handle a long drive without mechanical issues. The downside to driving it yourself is that the risk increases with the distance. A couple hours driving may seem doable, but a couple days may cause you to reconsider. If the vehicle isn’t operable or isn’t in prime running condition, this is not really a viable option.
Advantage: Affordability and the chance to see first hand how the vehicle performs over distance.
Disadvantage: Breakdowns, damages and time spent driving all come at your own expense.
- Tow It
Towing offers a bit more security than driving a car that you’re unfamiliar with over a long distance. In many cases, this works out great for customers, especially for cars that aren’t too far away. Like driving a car you’ve just bought online though, the further the distance, the more of a risk you’re taking. It makes sense to rent a trailer and tow a car up to a certain distance, typically about 150 miles. Beyond that, the risk starts to outweigh the reward for both vehicles involved.
Advantage: Somewhat affordable and still a do-it-yourself method.
Disadvantage: Less than ideal protection over long distances and damages and gas come out of your own pocket.
- Ship It
The third option is to have an auto bought on the internet shipped by a professional auto transporter. An auto shipper can pick up your new purchase and have it delivered to a terminal in your town or even right to your door. What often surprises customers is that the larger upfront cost of hiring an auto transporter are often less than what they would pay in gas alone for driving or towing a vehicle.
Advantage: Insurance coverage, convenience, less wear and tear, long-term savings.
Disadvantage: Larger upfront cost.
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What To Know Before Shipping An Online Auto Purchase
Before you do anything with a car you’ve bought online, make sure you have the title in your name and insurance coverage on the vehicle. If something happens to a car you’ve purchased online and you don’t hold the title or insurance, the cost of any damages will likely come out of your own pocket. Make sure to take the same steps in buying a car online as you would in person.
Online Auto Purchasing Resources
CarFax Vehicle Reports - Using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate, you can look up a car’s true history, including accidents, salvaged titles and more.
Why Women Should Shop For Cars Online - An article from the Daily Finance that details some of the advantages of buying a car online for women.
Online Car Buying Guide - Tips and advice about purchasing a car online from Edmunds.com.