If you’re not adept in mechanics or the latest innovations in the automotive industry, or you’ve simply never shopped around in the market, buying a used car can be a stressful experience. From shady dealers and dishonest local ads, to the sheer volume of options, makes, models, and years to choose from, the process can be overwhelming on the best of days.

Even with a good bargain, you’re often left wondering—will my purchase come back to haunt me? Did I get the best deal possible? Were the dealers being genuine or were they just trying to get an extra buck out of me? These are all legitimate concerns that all buyers must grapple with.

But one thing that might alleviate some of your stress is knowing that buying a used car online is now more popular, simpler, and—importantly—safer than ever before.

Online Car Shopping

The most obvious benefit to shopping at home before your computer is that it can protect your wallet! Online shopping cuts out any dealings with used car dealers, who have a notorious reputation for trying to swindle buyers and pressure them into accepting unnecessary extras. Let’s face it—even if they’re totally ethical, expert salespeople can sometimes turn water into wine, so to speak; they’re trained to upsell, mask drawbacks, and accentuate minor or negligible benefits.

If you’re like most people, it’s hard to say no to aggressive sales tactics, and it’s even harder to keep a clear head while a charismatic and smooth-talking seller really wants to champion a certain product. Studies have shown that people are psychologically disposed to saying ‘yes’ to certain upgrades merely to appease a charming or urgent salesperson.

Shopping at home cuts out any urge to make impulsive decisions. It lets you bypass legal jargon and complex clauses, and lets you maintain a rational, reasonable disposition at all times.

Saves Time

Another obvious benefit to online shopping is that it protects your time. If you’re on a tight budget, finding the perfect deal for the perfect car is a necessity. That means doing your research, and plenty of it. But remote shopping means that research and shopping become a simultaneous endeavour. You can use new, sophisticated search engines to compare prices, models, makes, features, add-ons, warranties, and so much more with the click of a button, and never feel like you’re wasting anyone’s time (no more niggling salespeople, bored kids, or impatient partners). Spending time researching and shopping online means you can ask any questions that come up without looking foolish or unprepared.

Pragmatically, it also means you save hours (or even days) driving around town to different dealerships, wasting expensive gasoline, and keeping on track of closing and opening hours (remember—there are no closing hours online!). Not being limited to just one location, dealership, or set of hours alleviates pressure to buy impulsively, broadens your horizons, and allows you to cultivate patience.

If you’re looking for used cars, trucks, bikes, and vans, you might be surprised by how sophisticated the online market has become. In the past, buying a used car from a classified ad was a dicey proposition—it was difficult to gauge whether the vehicle was involved in any accidents, had hidden damages or defects, or was involved in any legal matters.

Today, the best places to buy a car online use the CarProof Report, which will validate a car’s license, divulge its accident history, and discuss any major damages the car might have sustained. This is an invaluable database and tool that you can take advantage of for free when shopping online, but only when using the best databases. For example, if you type in used Ford Edge for sale on the popular buying and selling website Kijiji, you’ll see dozens of choices for sale, each with a wide variety of options and from tons of locations across the GTA. Use it to look for vehicles with the CarProof verification, and you’ll be protecting what will become one of your greatest assets.

Of course, whenever you do shop remotely, you’ll still always want to check out the car, give it a test drive, and feel comfortable behind the wheel before you make a final purchase (and don’t buy from any dealer or individual who isn’t willing to let you explore and test the vehicle).

It’s always a good to look for a friend who knows a bit about automobiles when you venture out to see the model,if only to get a second opinion from a more experienced set of eyes. But that’s all part of intelligent purchasing—which is just how you’ll feel after exhausting all your options and playing it safe by shopping online!