Night Mode Night Mode
Day Mode Day Mode

Should You Buy a Car Locally or Online in 2022?

Online options have revolutionized car shopping, but they also haven’t replaced dealerships. A number of unusual factors are complicating car buying this year, and that’s making many consumers especially mindful about how they handle it. Many are wondering if they should buy a car locally or online in 2022.

Why Would Online or Locally Matter?

Many shoppers usually have a preference for one or the other, but skyrocketing vehicle prices are making many drivers think they should find the best place to shop more than what they’re just used to. The global pandemic is largely responsible for vehicle prices going up in 2022, and in many ways:

  • Long lockdowns and remote work drove up sales of tablets and laptops, resulting in a shortage of chips for new vehicles.
  • Supply chain disruptions further impacted the availability of chips.
  • As vehicle supplies tightened and prices went up, many drivers leasing their vehicles decided to keep them instead of turning them in. The market for used vehicles started drying up, too.
  • Massive government economic stimulus early in the pandemic may have contributed to accelerating inflation.

Buying Locally

Shopping locally is certainly the traditional experience. Visiting a dealership means being able to see everything on their lot, have them help you select a vehicle, and possibly negotiate a better deal than listed on the sticker. You might also be someone who values keeping your money in the local economy.

On the other hand, selection can be limited. Also, depending on whether or not your area has a pandemic surge at the time, you might be risking contact with others.

Shopping Online

Shopping for your next car online has many advantages. The available selection is much broader, so you can be more specific in what you want. You might also find better deals given how many vehicles are out there. If socially distancing or saving time is important to you, then having a new vehicle delivered right to your door can prove very helpful.

However, you might not have as many options in terms of negotiating the sticker price. Also, shipping charges can add to the overall cost, so make sure you get an auto transport quote if you need car shipping from Oregon to California, for example. You should also make sure you have the chance to test drive the car and still return it if you’re not satisfied.

Saving Money Is Crucial

Even with high prices happening, you can still do things to save money on car shopping. Consider these tips:

  • Look online for the ‘oldest listing’. Cars that have been collecting dust for some time might be something the dealer or seller is willing to price lower in order to move it.
  • Don’t rely on dealer loans. Getting a vehicle and financing at the same time is a common convenience, but dealers aren’t rolling out great financing right now given the prices. Put your credit score to good use, and contact your bank to see what they can do for you.
  • If you’re buying vehicles for a business fleet, then don’t pass up models that might have some visible damage on the exterior. If you can cover them up with magnets or signage for your business, then you might be able to protect them..
  • Be willing to buy a project. You shouldn’t commit to any vehicle until you’ve had a mechanic you trust look over it from bumper to bumper. However, unless it’s a total lemon, you might not want to pass up a used vehicle that you can get back to a condition you are comfortable with. Fixer-uppers projects aren’t just homes right now.
  • Trade-in your current vehicle. The market is hurting so badly for inventory right now that even dealerships accustomed to selling only new cars are filling their spaces with used rides. You might be shocked to find out what yours is worth.

Don’t Drive Yourself Crazy

It’s a very different auto market this year, but don’t let it get to you. Doing some due diligence pays off, but soon enough you’ll find your next ride. Whether you do it online or locally is a personal judgment you have to make for yourself.

Scroll to top
Browse Tags