Buying a car is like buying shoes

Buying a car on the Internet: First inform - then click

Anyone who wants to buy a new car will usually first search the relevant online vehicle exchanges and only conclude a classic sales contract after viewing and taking a test drive on site. But there are also ways to make a binding purchase of a car with a click of the mouse. Anyone who opts for this form of trade, which has been on the rise since Corona, should know some of the rules of the game on the Internet in order to avoid mistakes or nasty surprises.

Is the dealer trustworthy?
One of the important questions when ordering online concerns the trustworthiness of the retailer. In order to protect yourself against potentially fraudulent offers, you should, among other things, be guided by the experiences of other users and look at their ratings. If there is a lot of feedback from other customers and if there are also good grades, the chances increase that a reputable dealer is behind the present offer. If there is a new trading or brokerage platform, articles should be found in the press.

Use the escrow service
After a successfully completed internet auction, the problem of payment often arises. Anyone who pays in advance and transfers the sum can possibly go away empty-handed, because every now and then they work with false identities, hijacked accounts and mailbox companies. You are on the safe side if the seller demands payment upon collection. However, if the money is to be transferred, the buyer ideally uses a so-called escrow service, which auction platforms offer for higher-priced items. The buyer first transfers the amount to the account of the escrow service, which only pays the money to the seller once the receipt of the goods and their correct condition have been confirmed.

Contract by email is binding
In addition to the possibility of direct purchase via online auction, cars can now also be ordered on other platforms directly online with purchase contracts that can be concluded online. Here, too, you should act cautiously as a customer, because even if a contract was only concluded by email, it is still binding. As in real trade, buyers and sellers conclude a binding contract with a written declaration of intent. If there is a dispute about whether a contract was actually concluded, it is advantageous if it is possible to provide evidence that the declaration of intent sent by email has reached the addressee. Therefore, emails should be sent with a confirmation of receipt. Ideally, the degree will also be confirmed by fax or letter.

Two-week right of withdrawal
The declaration of intent can also be challenged if a mistake has been made, for example because a wrong price has been transmitted. Anyone who notices such a faux pas should react immediately so that the conclusion of the contract becomes null and void. As is customary in online shops, a two-week right of withdrawal also applies to the purchase of cars from dealers from the moment the goods are handed over. If you want to revoke the contract, you have to explain this to the dealer in writing.

Note the terms and conditions
Before entering into a contract, you should read the seller's terms and conditions. These must be indicated on the dealer website and they must also be placed in such a way that they are clearly visible to customers. Otherwise they will not become part of the contract.