Today, car buyers have access to thousands of cars online, can apply for financing online before they go to a dealership and can even shop for a car right from the comfort of their own home. There are some caveats to this, however. While buying a car online might be easy and convenient, you can also be setting yourself up for an enormous number of headaches. Here are four tips to purchasing your next car to take advantage of the internet without getting fleeced.

1.Do your homework

You can expect to pay about $2,000 more for a car at a dealership than through a private sale and get about $2,000 less on a trade-in. Before buying, however, be sure and check both the Kelly Blue Book and NADA Guide sites to get an idea of what you should be paying for that car. Consumer Reports car buying guide is also a great resource to make sure you aren't buying a headache waiting to happen.

2.Check on insurance

Insurance rates vary drastically from car to car and even from model to model. Be sure and check with your insurance company to get a rate on the specific car you want to buy before purchasing to make sure you can get affordable auto insurance. When you get a quote, however, be sure and check the coverage as well. You may get a lower quote from one company because they are not offering the same coverage and you may end up paying more than with your current company when they bring up the coverage levels up to the same level.

3.Take an extended test drive

When you take a car for a test drive, be sure and drive it on both the highway and surface streets and find an empty parking lot to do a thorough brake check. Here are some things to check on your test drive.

•Heat and AC
•Cruise control
•All of the buttons on all of the control panels (including rear seats)
•Roll all windows up and down
•Turn the radio or navigation system on and off

4.Check exterior and under the hood carefully

While you may not have any idea of what you are looking at under the hood, you can check and make sure everything is neat, clean and tidy. Drive to a clean patch of concrete and let the car sit for 15 minutes or so and then look at it to see if there are any fresh drops. Check the hoses for cracks and to see if there is any fluid or wet spots on any of the hoses. Check around the doors to make sure that seams align perfectly. If they don't, that can be evidence of frame damage.

While it is a great idea to access the internet and all it has to offer, it is still important to do your own due diligence before purchasing. While a detailed digital history can tell you a lot, there is still no substitute for a careful and thorough driving and visual inspection. When it comes to buying cars, there are no 100% guarantees, but you can help yourself a great deal by doing some careful research before buying.

Author's Bio: 

I am a professional writer and loves to write on different topics like SEO, Health, Money Making, Fashion etc. It is my Hobby and passion.