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How to buy a car online

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Until recently buying a car has meant wasting the better part of a weekend traipsing from one car dealership to another, while haggling with pushy salespeople.

Thankfully, those days are rapidly coming to an end as the car industry is catching up with the digital age and moving sales online, so you can save time, money and hassle.

Not only are many dealerships now online, with a range of online new car buying sites, but there are even online vehicle brokers who will haggle on your behalf and arrange a test drive at your home!

If you are one of the many Aussies who is wondering “can I buy a new car online”, then this article is for you.          

What are the benefits of buying a car online?

The following are some of the major benefits you'll enjoy if you buy your next car online.

Wider Variety

When you visit a physical dealership, your purchase options are limited by what is currently available on the lot. Buying online, on the other hand, allows you to browse through a variety of options and find exactly what you're looking for.

Lower Prices

The opportunity to save money is perhaps the biggest benefit of buying a car online. Because online car selling sites don't have to cover the overheads of traditional dealerships, they can sell cars at a lower markup. As a result, a wider range of vehicles is available at lower prices, which is good news for consumers.

Even if you buy a car from a traditional dealer and complete the transaction online, you can save money. Dealerships have to provide better deals to persuade buyers to complete the sale without the opportunity to use higher-pressure sales tactics.

Simplified Purchasing Process 

One important but often underestimated benefit of buying a car online is speed. Buying a car online is a quick transaction when compared to the lengthy and often tiring process of test driving a car, negotiating a price (often involving leaving and returning later), and finalising the purchase. This feature makes buying online incredibly convenient in an increasingly busy environment where every minute of your time counts.

Less sales pressure

Dealing with pushy salespeople who are keen to close the deal is one of the most unpleasant aspects of buying a car at a dealership.   Because you can make decisions at your own speed from the comfort of your own home, buying online avoids the majority of the hassles involved with this part of the buying process.

How to buy a car online

Buying a car online is basically the same as buying a car in person, except you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Just follow the steps below.


According to research by Google, 92% of car buyers now research online before they buy, rather than going into a dealership. And recent research by Ipsos found the time they spend is increasing - from 2.7 months in 2017 to 7 months in 2021. It's not hard to see why. Almost everything you need to make a decision is now available from the comfort of your own home. You can do all of this online.

  • Find, compare, and research new cars in your region.
  • Get a free, no-obligation new car price quotation
  • Use free car loan and ownership calculators
  • Find out the average amount paid for a vehicle in your region
  • Look up the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the vehicle you're thinking about buying
  • Find out about current consumer rebates and dealer incentives
  • Read reviews, road tests, awards, and best and worst vehicle lists
  • Calculate genuine ownership costs 
  • Read about vehicle characteristics, features, and independent fuel economy reviews
  • Get car industry news, manufacturer information, and consumer reviews 
  • See recall histories, maintenance costs, and statistics on vehicle safety

Getting finance

One of the most crucial components of purchasing a new car is obtaining finance. That's why it's important to look at multiple options before you decide. You could do this yourself, but it can be just as time-consuming as finding a vehicle. 

A good alternative is to use an online car loan broker, like carloans.com.au . We know the car loan market inside out and can help you choose from hundreds of products offered by our panel of more than 30 lenders.

Another advantage of using a car loan broker is that we do all the paperwork for you, and negotiate on your behalf with the lender to maximise your chance of being approved fast.

To inquire about car finance, just click here.


Before you buy you will probably want to take a drive to see if you really like the vehicle. If you are buying new, you could use a car-broking service like onlineauto.com.au , which can find you a great price and also arrange a test drive for you at your own home!

Mechanical check

If the vehicle is secondhand, you can book a mechanical inspection online from a qualified mechanic and wait for them to send you the report. Mobile mechanics can usually inspect your vehicle on the same day. This means you can avoid buying a lemon, and you can also use the report to help you negotiate on price by getting a discount for any defects. 

Check ownership

You should always conduct a Register of Encumbered Vehicles (REVS) Check before you buy. It tells you whether your pick has any financial interest registered on the Personal Property Securities Register, i.e. has money owing on it from the previous owner be it from QLD or any other states in Australia, whether the vehicle has been written off before, and who the legal owner is. This can be done online.

Benefits and drawbacks of buying online


  • You can take your time when you shop online since you can do your research, comparisons, and bargain hunting at your leisure. It also allows you to look at more vehicles, faster, without the pressures of a car dealership.
  • You won't have to deal with professional hagglers online (car dealers are professional hagglers). 
  • You can easily compare prices online - Just look at advertisements for cars with the same make and model as yours.


  • You can't quickly grab the car you want and drive away, like you could at a dealership.

Whether you should buy a car online or not depends on your needs and wants. Buying online may be ideal for you if you value speed and convenience. However, if you want to view, feel, and drive the car before you buy it, the traditional car-buying process of going to a seller is still the best option, or using an online broker like OnlineAuto.com.au that can arrange a test drive at home.

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

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