Online shopping has swiftly become the norm for millions of families in the UK, for everything from electronics to the weekly grocery shop. Today, even the act of buying a car has begun to migrate online – enabling buyers to find and buy the rare or luxury car of their dreams than through scouring showrooms in person more quickly. Buying a car online is an understandably unnerving process for some, but there are some simple ways in which you can ensure buying a luxury car online remains safe and secure.

Research the Vendor

First and foremost, you should endeavour to research any potential vendors from which you might be buying your luxury vehicle. In terms of online showrooms, there are several ways you can do this. Online showrooms may have local branches, allowing you to investigate the satisfaction of local customers on review sites or through Google. For example, your chosen online vendor might conduct car sales in Peterborough, enabling you to source customer testimony from the area as well as from other online customers.

This can be more difficult when it comes to private sellers, though. It can be difficult to verify an individual on a selling platform, but user reviews and ratings can help you evaluate the safety of buying through a particular individual.

Request Vehicle History Details

If you have a specific vehicle in mind, your next step should be to ascertain the particulars of its history. This is important for any vehicle purchase, but especially important when it comes to luxury or classic cars – where the cost of repair is significantly higher, and inconsistencies in the car’s ‘story’ can lead to a great deal of unexpected expense.

Any reputable seller will happily provide you with access to all the car’s available documentation. These documents will include: the V5c certificate that confirms the make and model of the vehicle in question; the vehicle’s service history documents; and the most recent MOT test certificate, amongst other proofs of ownership and provenance.

Understand Your Rights

Buying online can seem much more an unknown quantity than buying in person, especially for the inability to inspect the car directly and visibly before purchase. However, your rights as an online consumer enable you to check and test-drive a car, even as part of an online transaction and delivery.

If you buy online from a commercial organisation such as an online car dealership, you are entitled to a 14-day ‘cooling-off’ period, in which you are allowed to return an item no-questions-asked. This means you can receive delivery of your chosen luxury car, inspect it, test-drive it, then decide whether you want to keep it. In this way, you can ensure the car matches its listing and documentation and return it in the event of discovering an undeclared issue.