Carputty Blog

Best Practices For Shopping For a Vehicle Online

Learn how to streamline your car buying process after your Flexline™ approval and minimize time at the dealer.

Best Practices For Shopping For a Vehicle Online

In today’s digital age, the majority of automotive inventories are accessible online, allowing you to conduct most, if not all, of your purchase research and shopping from the comfort of your home. While some states still mandate retail involvement and test drives are always recommended, many steps can now be accomplished virtually. Here's a step-by-step guide to simplify your car buying journey:

1. Research New Vehicles: Start by embracing online research. New vehicle websites offer advanced configurators, enabling you to customize your desired car before initiating your search. However, finding your exact specifications might be challenging. Stay flexible and prepare alternative options. Most retailers also display their new inventory online, along with Monroney labels (the window sticker) for quick reference.

2. Explore Used Vehicles: Similar to new cars, most used inventory is available online, with listings being updated daily. Utilize major search engines, online retailers, or local dealerships. Filter functions help narrow down your options by year, model, and other preferences. Look for AutoCheck or similar vehicle history reports to ensure transparency. Beware of vehicles with branded titles, indicating significant issues like previous wrecks, floods or odometer resets.

3. Evaluate Used Vehicle Values: Use Carputty’s V3 Valuation tool to assess the value of your preferred vehicles. While local conditions and demand influence estimates, excessively high or low prices warrant caution. V3 not only provides current values but also predicts future worth, aiding informed decision-making so you can treat your cars like you do any other asset in your investment portfolio.

4. Contact the Dealer/Retailer: Once you find a suitable vehicle, contact the retailer to confirm availability.

5. Arrange a Test Drive: Despite the convenience of virtual shopping, test driving remains essential for assessing if you like a car. Test drives are even more important for used vehicles so don’t skip this critical step in ensuring your purchase satisfaction.

6. Negotiate a Price: During price discussions, inquire about available incentives, particularly for new vehicles. With your Flexline approval in hand, explore cash incentives or price reductions. Additionally, clarify any additional fees or add-ons to avoid surprises.

7. Add Your Car to Your Flexline: Input your purchase details into your Carputty account. Don't forget to check out your Carputty Coverage options to protect your new vehicle. Once you’ve selected coverage or opted out, your Member Success Agent will then coordinate with you and the retailer to finalize financing, taxes, and registration fees.

8. Request Home Delivery: Upon completing all paperwork, inquire about home or office delivery options to avoid revisiting the retailer.

9. Find Alternative Delivery Options: If home delivery isn’t feasible, handle paperwork electronically whenever possible. On delivery day, minimal time will be required for paperwork, allowing you to drive away promptly.

Shopping for a new or used vehicle should be an enjoyable experience. Enhance it by leveraging your Carputty Flexline, which offers personalized approvals and rates before you begin.

Embark on Your Car Buying Journey from Home Today

Still have questions? Carputty experts are available to assist you at any stage of the financing process. Whether you need guidance on your car search or assistance with refinancing or selling your current vehicle, your Member Success Agent is there to help. Reach us anytime at