If you are staying at home right now as part of lockdown, you are probably doing a lot of shopping. Not being able to go to the high street has not stopped our spending. But, have you considered buying a car online?

You might think it’s difficult to get a good feel for a car when you buy it online. But, as long as you choose a fully regulated and approved seller, then you have a lot more protection than you might think. We’ve collected together our 5 top tips for buying a car online.

More choice

The best thing about shopping online for a new car is that you are not limited to the dealerships and classified listings in your immediate area. You can use search tools, like at Creditplus, to search the entire country, from Land’s End to John O’Groats. That means if you have a specific make and model that you want, you’ve got more chance of finding one in the condition, price or colour that you are after.

Do your research

If you are not sure about the make and model you want, then you need to have a look at some reviews. But first, you need to be clear about what you want from your car. So take some time to do a checklist.

What will you be using your car for? Work, commuting, pleasure, or a combination of all three? Who will be using the car, just you or a partner too? And do you have a family that means you’ll need more space, safety and storage than you would if it was just for a couple? You should also look at the monthly budget you have, as if it’s low then you might want one that’s more economical or has a better score on the reliability index (rating for how often a car breaks down).

Read customer and expert reviews

Once you’ve found the car you like, you’ll need to look at reviews. Not just for the car you want to buy, but also the company you are buying the car from. First, the car. Creditplus’ Car Deals page has written reviews for some of the most popular models. Next, the company. Use independent review sites like Trustpilot to gauge if the seller is legitimate and has a history of good feedback.

Compare buying options

Once you have all the information you need, it’s now time to buy the car. Take a look at the different options, including whether you want to part exchange, include a deposit, and the different car finance options available to you. Companies such as Creditplus can compare car finance deals for you, with no obligation and without affecting your credit score.

Sit back and wait for delivery

Most dealers will offer home delivery once you’ve bought a car. This makes it no more difficult than waiting in for another Amazon parcel. After the car has arrived, you have 7 days to return the car if it’s not what you expected. But make sure you follow the terms and conditions set by the vendor. Additionally, Creditplus offer 6-months warranty and 12-months breakdown cover as standard, so you can enjoy your car with peace of mind.

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