An online dealer is a car dealer that operates online. Online dealers allow customers to compare and purchase (and sometimes insure or finance) new or used vehicles online
The term online dealer refers mainly to online auto classifieds marketplaces that show listings for cars and dealers. The user enters their zip code and preferred model and year to see listings of suitable vehicles in their area
These days, many physical dealerships have their own websites where customers can compare and research vehicles. These websites are good for comparing vehicle prices or valuing a trade, but in most cases a trip to the dealer is necessary in order to complete the purchase.
Auto Credit Express has a network of over 1,200 dealerships and loan providers dedicated to helping customers with poor credit and first-time buyers. Their goal continues to be the improvement of customers’ credit standing through responsible lending and financing solutions.
Aids customers with no credit and bankruptcies
Could have more information on loan terms
Large variety of loan types
Not a direct lender
AutoLoanZoom is an online marketplace for car loans. With a network of dealership and direct lending partners, borrowers can find financing quickly by plugging basic information into the straightforward form.
No credit minimums
Lack of loan conditions transparency
Offers loans for bankrupt borrowers
Limited customer support channels
Car financing is a term that encompasses all forms of auto financing, namely auto loans and auto leasing.
A car loan is a type of loan where the customer (or borrower) uses the proceeds to purchase a car. It is a secured loan, in that the lender owns a share of the car until the borrower has paid the loan off in full.
Leasing is an arrangement whereby the customer has use of a vehicle for a fixed period of time, most commonly 2 to 3 years. The leasing contract usually stipulates a residual value for the vehicle, i.e. the predicted value of the car when the contract ends. At the end of the contract, the customer is given the option of purchasing the car at its residual value (or they may attempt to negotiate a lower buyout price.
These days, it’s easy to organize auto financing online, hence the term “online financing.” There are hundreds of dealers, lenders, and leasing companies that do business on the internet. Some online financing companies have a nationwide focus while others concentrate on a particular city or region. All online auto financing companies have one thing in common: they let the customer apply for a loan or lease online
Online dealers are essentially a gateway to the traditional dealerships. The customer enters their zip code and preferred make and model to be connected with dealerships in their area.
With that said, it’s always a good idea to start your search with an online dealer or marketplace. Going through an online dealer allows you to compare vehicle prices across a range of dealers in your local area. Online dealers often show better prices than physical dealerships because they force the dealerships to compete for the lowest online price. With an online dealer, you can browse for as long as you want, from the comfort of your own home, without being harassed by a car salesperson. Once you’re ready to purchase, just go to your selected dealer to complete the paperwork and drive away with your new car
Dealer financing is a bit of a misleading term in that it’s not provided by dealers but rather third-party lenders that work with the lenders. With dealer financing, the dealer shares the customer’s information with one or more of its partnering lenders. The lender (or lenders) then contact the customer to close the financing.
In the old days, dealer financing was the most convenient way of obtaining auto financing because the dealers did all the leg work. With the rise of online financing, this is no longer the case and it’s now cheaper and more convenient to hook yourself up with financing. Thanks to the internet, a few minutes is all that’s needed to compare online financing providers and submit a loan or lease application.
Applying for an auto loan or lease is similar to applying for any other lending product. The lender takes your personal profile and requirements into account, namely: credit score and the price of the vehicle. Generally, auto financing companies only accept customers with a credit score of 620 or higher, although some financing companies specialize in working with low-credit borrowers. The higher your credit score, the greater the likelihood of being offered a decent APR. Bringing a co-signer is another good way of qualifying for a good rate.
The key to finding the best online lender or dealer is to do a comparison shop. Before settling on any one company, it’s best to compare at least 3-5 dealers or lenders.
Here are the main things to compare:
As mentioned, auto financing marketplaces are a great place to start your search. These websites are always free and generally easy to use. However, it’s important to know how these marketplaces operate and what their role is in helping you purchase a vehicle or get a car loan.
Vehicle marketplaces and auto financing marketplaces (also known as brokers, aggregators, or search tools) exist to connect you with providers. When you use a marketplace, you fill in a few basic details about yourself. After a few seconds, you’re taken to a screen showing several direct providers. Click on your preferred option to be taken to the provider’s website, where you may complete your application.
Once you take the loan or secure the vehicle you want, your relationship with the broker ends. From here on, all correspondence is with the provider (e.g. the dealer or lender) itself.