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October 1, 2014

Online Car Shopping: Part I
By Scott Roush
The whole concept sounds a bit frightening. After all, who actually is going to purchase a vehicle by shopping for it on the Internet? Don't you need to go to the dealership, sit behind and kick the tires of the vehicle you are considering to purchase?

Well, times have changed and many people are now shopping for their car or truck online. Long gone are the days when the automakers used to hide the new model year vehicles in tarps at the dealer showroom. Potential customers used to have to drive from dealership to dealership to get the best price. Today's savvy shoppers want the car-shopping process to be easier, quicker and more hassle-free than in the past.

But like every new experience, online shopping for a car can be intimidating. There are many Web sites on the Internet touting themselves as the place to purchase a vehicle. But before you start looking at these sites, you should be aware of what you are doing.

Getting Started

Before turning on your computer you should have a good idea of how much you can afford for a vehicle. You should also have an idea of what type of vehicle you want and what options you want on it. Do you want a pickup truck or sports car? Do want anti-lock brakes or rear spoiler? Having a general idea of what you are looking for will make the online shopping process easier.

Once you have decided the type of vehicle you want, contact your insurance agent or check with a reputable online auto insurance provider to get quick insurance quotes on the vehicles that interest you.

You should also go to a local dealership and conduct road tests of the vehicles. Ask questions and pay close attention to the answers. You may even want to carry a little notepad with you so you don't risk forgetting things the salesperson told you. Don't talk about price while you are there, because you are not ready.

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