The Car Pro Guide To Buying Your Car Online

Guide to online car buying
Photo credit:

UPDATE 6/10/20: Car dealerships have reopened with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the nation. CarProUSA Certified Dealers remain vigilant in adhering to all CDC guidelines to keep employees and car shoppers safe. While showrooms are open, many continue to offer online sales as well. Many consumers are embracing online car buying as well. The issue now facing consumers is an inventory shortage, especially on popular models.

Imagine picking out your new or used vehicle from the comfort of your living room, having it delivered to you for a test drive, getting your trade-in evaluated, then completing all the paperwork online and having the keys delivered to your home. Thatís the reality of car shopping these days - with many dealer showrooms across the country temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. That said, people are still buying cars because the current incentives and deals are just too good for many car shoppers to pass up. Plus, transportation needs are changing during this time and some people may need vehicles whereas they did not before.

Regardless of the reason, buying a car online has never been easier or convenient. In these times, however, itís about much more than that. Itís about safety. CarProUSA Certified dealers are sanitizing vehicles for test drives and taking other steps like completing paperwork online with home delivery to adhere to social distancing guidelines that keep you and their employees safe.

The steps outlined below will guide you through the online car buying process from beginning to finish.


Locate a Dealer: Check out our CarProUSA dealers directly from our website or by going online.


Look through their online inventory. Find the VIN or stock number of the vehicle youíd like to see.


Email, text or call our CarProUSA certified manager. If you can, fill out a VIP form on our website with the dealer of your choice. If you text, call or email them directly, identify yourself as a CarProUSA VIP and give them the VIN or stock number of the vehicle(s) of interest.


Ask questions. Ask any specific questions you have about the vehicle itself.


Ask for the Monroney sticker and all pricing info. Ask them for the total disclosure of pricing and incentives available to you. Ask them for the bottom line pricing with tax, title and licensing. Ask what their dealer documentary fee is. (Read Jerryís article about documentary fees here.)


Donít forget to tell the Car Pro manager upfront if you have a trade-in. A dealership representative may come to you to take photos of your trade-in to send to their used car manager who will evaluate your vehicle and give you a trade-in value. Or the dealer may ask you to send them pictures, the VIN and current mileage so they can evaluate and give you an offer.


Discuss financing. Be prepared to fill out a credit application for Captive Arm financing or provide them with other payment information.


Request an at-home test drive. Test drives remain very important in the process of buying a vehicle. A dealership representative will sanitize the vehicle of your choice by wiping down the interior and bring it to you.


If youíve found your dream car, you can complete the paperwork online from the comfort of your living room. As always. Donít rush it and READ WHAT YOU SIGN.


Donít forget to discuss additional warranties or car maintenance plans if desired. Read more about Extended Warranties here.


Accept home delivery of your new vehicle.

As always, CarProUSA dealers are upfront with you and we also recommend that you be upfront with them in return when it comes to trade-ins, financing and any other concerns you may have. They are doing all they can to be accessible to you with your safety in mind during this time.
Related Articles
Black Friday Auto Sales/Last Weekend of November
While shopping on Black Friday can be a stressful, tiring, and downright frightening thing to do, consumers will find some great deals on one of the biggest purchases they'll ever make: a new car.
... More ›
Why Car Leases Can Be Good For First-Time Buyers
I had a caller to my radio show Saturday, wanting to purchase a car for his 21-year old son who was in college. I asked him if he had considered leasing a new car for him, to which he said no and see... More ›
Why The Best Price Is Not Always The Best Deal
Sure, everybody wants the best price he or she can get on a car, right? I think often people assume that if they got the best possible price, they also got the best possible deal, but that is not alw... More ›
Snag A Ford Certified Bargain Before They Go To Auction
As I have told you, new vehicle inventories are building quickly. This has caused Certified vehicle sales to slow down some. Our friends at the 4 DFW Five Star Ford dealerships have found themselves... More ›
Tom K
Hi Jerry,
We live in Florida. My wife and I stopped by the local Hyundai dealership and test drove a new Santa Fe SUV. They didn't have the car we wanted and tried to sell us another Santa Fe in their inventory that was much more expensive. We were getting serious about making the deal. We had done our homework. The sales person would not budge on the $899 dealer prep fee. The time we spent was valuable but we ended up leaving the dealership and not making a purchase. Is there a fair way around this issue? I agreed to pay $150 for the prep fee. We were clear as to the features we wanted on the car and what we didn't want. He called us the next day and asked to come back in to the dealership. We said email the price we agreed on plus sales tax and registration and a $150 dealer prep fee. We never heard from him again.
Thank you.
Tom K
The Car Pro
Iím curious if it is a Prep fee or Doc Fee? A Prep Fee is ridiculous, the factory pays them to do prep. The Doc fee in Florida is often upwards of $1500 and should be no more than $200.

You need to find a different dealership and you need to do all the negotiations online before ever stepping foot inside the place. Thatís the safe way to do it in Florida. Be sure to see the buyerís order by email before you go in and then check EVERYTHING to make sure nothing changed.

Jerry Reynolds