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Buying Cars Online: 5 Essential Things to Remember

13 January 2020 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

At this age and time, buying cars online is no longer surprising. Most buyers would rather skip the hassle of going to showroom after showroom and do it the easier way. Thanks to online car classifieds like Motor Matcher, car buyers can now buy their dream cars at the tip of their fingers.

However, you don’t want it to end up in a horror story. So to make sure you have a happy ending with your dream car, we compiled 5 essential things to remember when buying cars online.

Here are 5 essential things to remember when buying cars online:

1. Research, research, research.

With the availability of many car classifieds, browsing and buying cars online has never been easier. Take advantage of the accessibility and research on the car you want from car model, make, colour, price, etc. You can get almost any information online, which saves you more time. Some factors that you can consider in choosing a car from your research are the following:

  • Quality – The durability and workmanship of a car, the accessories and its components. High quality car are rated by the quality and the experience. If the car has problems such as paint peeling, rubber seals wearing and rattling noises, maybe pick another car to save yourself from buying low quality cars. Saving yourself more cash by buying high quality car is better than buying low quality car that needs repairs over time.
  • Cost of ownership – think about the cost of the car over the course of how long you have to use it is much more expensive than the car itself. Can you support it so that you wouldn’t fall into the deep pit of debt in the future?

The cost of ownership of a car includes the following:

    • Depreciation – Did you know that a new car lost about 10% of its value as soon as they’re driven off the lot, and another 10% to 20% by the end of the first year? After that, you’re looking at a decrease in value of about 15% to 25% per year, for an average loss of over 60% by the fifth year.
    • Fuel Consumption – The most frequent car expense that any car owner have to pay regularly. Most people dill up their gas tanks every other week because the mere act of using the car (without even leaving its spot) consumes fuel. According to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) the average two-car household pays about $68.99 for fuel every week and that amounts to $3,500 per year.
    • Repairs and Maintenance - These costs are dependent on the amount of wear and tear driving has on the vehicle. Experts recommend tyres be inspected if not replaced every 5 years. Services are recommended every 12 months or every 15,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. The average weekly cost for a two-car household in major cities around Australia was $28.24 and the average weekly cost in regional areas around Australia was $26.33.
    • Car Insurance - is a necessity in Australia. The Compulsory Third Party car insurance or CPT car insurance is designed to cover your liability costs in case of injury or death to other people but a higher level of insurance coverage is recommended like:
      • Third-party car insurance (cover for damage to other people's property)
      • Third-party fire and theft car insurance (same as above plus fire and theft protection for your car)
      • Comprehensive car insurance (highest level of cover - all of the above plus coverage for damage you're on the receiving end of)
    • Registration and Licencing - If a person that has a car drives on public road, he/she must register that car under the state of territory’s Department of Transport and that person must have a driver’s license. The registration will cost you an upfront registration fee as well as an annual or semi-annual fee. You’ll also have to renew your driver’s license every few years.
  • Reliability – The good news that most cars today is very reliable. New cars have a warranty that lasts 3 years or driven below 36,000 miles. Consumer Reports is a good source to check for reliability ratings. Each year, they survey about 500,000 car owners to determine which cars have the most reliability issues.


2. Narrow down your options.

Sometimes, when choosing for the right car to buy online, having too many choices just makes the decision making a little more difficult. In order for you not to get too overwhelmed and confused, narrow down your choices to 3-5 car models. Filter out the things that really matter to you and eliminate those that don’t.

3. Make a checklist of questions.

When it comes to used cars, asking the right questions is mandatory to ensure you’re not going to end up with a lemon. List down all the important questions you’d like to ask the owner when you’re ready to inspect the car. Take these sample questions for instance:

  • How many previous owners has the car had?
  • Can I have a look at the car’s history report?
  • What’s the car mainly driven for?
  • Has the car had any issues, mechanical problems or has it ever been in any kind of accident?

Asking these questions puts you on much safer side and gives you a picture of the car’s current condition. Even if you have no way of validating what you’ve been told about the car, the least you can do is ask to lessen your worry.

4. Test drive the car.

One thing that will stand out when you buy cars online is the gallery of fancy car photos that are intended to attract you. Although as always and in most things, doing an actual test is where you get the real feel of the product. In this case, doing a test drive can help you put the car on a road test and actually see how it performs.

5. Know the dealer.

Knowing the car dealer is just as important as knowing the car itself. It wouldn’t hurt to check their background – how long they have been in the business, what kind of cars they are selling online, how well they rate in the reviews section, do they charge hidden or other extra fees? Having these information safeguards your rights as a car buyer and makes dealing with them more comfortable.

Here at Motor Matcher, we help people like you make sound decision when buying and selling cars online. We offer a faster and simpler way of browsing and comparing both new and used cars online. Everything we do is modelled around providing customers with the right tools and empowering them with rich information, helping customers make sound decision when buying and selling cars. We offer a faster, simpler way to compare new and used cars online, creating an ideal and safe marketplace for all car buyers and sellers. You can see current deals on leasing or financing and get a better buying experience. If you’re looking for an ideal and safe marketplace to buy cars online, this is the place to go.

Click on us at and let us help you find your dream car.