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If You’re Planning To Buy Your Dream Car Online, Don’t Miss These Tips

If You’re Planning To Buy Your Dream Car Online, Don’t Miss These Tips

Today purchasing a new vehicle can prove to be a stressful event for most people. Visiting your local dealers can take up a lot of your time, and it often proves to be a frustrating experience. Luckily, you can buy almost anything online these days, and a new or used car is no exception. What are some of the best practices for online car shopping? Let’s dive into the topic.

1. Window Shop

With the internet at your disposal, this is your obvious first step when planning to purchase a new vehicle. It should come as no surprise that the majority of car buyers perform initial research online before visiting a dealer. The difference here is that most or all of the transaction will take place without you having to step foot outside your home. You’ll need to narrow down your options to one or two models, as well as decide whether you want to buy or lease a new or pre-owned vehicle. Figure out what features are needed in your new car, as well as which cars provide those features. A couple websites consumers use for research include Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds, who offer information on most cars as well as the price you should be paying for them.

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This brings up the next step, which is to set your budget. Think carefully, and whatever you do, don’t settle for anything outside of your price range. With proper research and negotiation, you can buy your dream car without going bankrupt.

2. Negotiate

You may have opted for an online car-buying experience because of a past mishap at a dealership. Maybe you despise high-pressure sales situations (as we all do), which almost certainly await you once you set foot on the lot. However, haggling online is much less stressful than attempting to make a deal in person, with your precious time ticking away while you wait for the back and forth between your car salesman and his boss. Instead, you can enjoy negotiating behind your screen, on your time, and take as much of it as you need.

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It’s easier than you think, too. Once you’ve narrowed down the particular make and model of your dream car, the next step is to locate dealers in your area who have this car and find their websites online. Many dealers these days have dedicated internet sales departments. The website may list a contact email for online inquiries, or there may be a form you can fill out on the page. Make sure you contact more than one. You don’t have to send twenty emails to dealers, but send two or three at the minimum. Name the car you’ve set your heart on, and simply ask for their best price. Include any extra features you want included in your car at this stage, but don’t mention your trade-in, if you have one, or talk about financing options.

The dealers you’ve contacted should start discussing prices with you, but make sure they’re discussing the price of the vehicle and any fees associated. If you feel that any listed fee sounds fishy, do a quick search for legitimacy. Once you’ve received a few quotes, take the lowest quote you receive and send it to the others. Ask them if they can do better. Continue this process until one of them offers you a price within your budget and the estimated ranges you found for the vehicle online.

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If you can’t stand the thought of back-and-forth even through text conversation, websites like Truecar and Vinadvisor negotiate with dealers for you, eliminating tiresome haggling from the experience. Just make sure the quoted price falls within the ranges you found through your initial research.

3. Order a Third-Party Inspection

If you opt to buy a used car, especially from an individual seller, you should hire a mechanic to perform an inspection on the vehicle. Contact local mechanics near your dream car, and arrange a time with the seller for the inspection to take place. Many will offer pre-buy car inspections for roughly $100, which is well worth the peace of mind. Use the report findings to negotiate with the seller, or look elsewhere if needed.

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4. Ship Your car

If your dream car is too far for you to travel, consider having your car shipped to you. There are many reliable auto transport options, such as Montway Auto Transport and Central Dispatch, who can ship your new (or new to you) car from anywhere in the country. In most situations, having your new car shipped to you is safer and less stressful than picking up the car yourself. You don’t need to bring an extra driver or buy a plane ticket; simply schedule a pickup window and make sure someone is available when the car will be picked up. Choose a less expensive uncovered option or a secure covered transport option for more expensive vehicles.

5. Skip the Dealer

Several websites offer a unique experience: purchasing your car completely online, without ever leaving your home. Below is a list of websites who perform this service, as well as some of the features they offer:

  • Vroom.com – Vroom offers certified used cars, which must pass a 126-point inspection before they go up for sale. You can browse their website and list of vehicles right away, although you need an account to start the purchasing process. Vroom offers free nationwide shipping to your door, as well as a 7-day or 250-mile test drive to make sure you love your new car. All cars also come with a 90-day/30,000-mile warranty and a free year of roadside assistance 24/7. Vroom also offers access to financing from over 30 different lenders, which you can apply to on their website.
  • Carvana.com – Carvana is another used car vendor. Cars sold to Carvana must pass a 150-point inspection, and all cars are subject to an Experian auto check report. Customers can test drive their car for seven days and return if they’re not satisfied. Pickup is free in the Atlanta area, but delivery to further locations is more complex. Delivery is free if you’re within 100 miles of Carvana’s Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, Charlotte, NC, Birmingham, AL, or Dallas, TX hubs. If you are located between 100-250 miles of these hubs, delivery is quoted at $199, and beyond that range requires you to ship the car yourself.
  • Nowcar.com – NowCar is a new vehicle seller in the state of Florida that claims to offer you a fixed price well below MSRP. Complete the entire transaction online, without negotiating, and have it delivered to your door for free. Customers have five days or 50 miles to exchange their vehicle for another car through the website, and a delivery fee is added to the second car delivered. Vehicles come with a full manufacturer warranty.
  • Carsense.com – CarSense is a used car buying option in the Philadelphia/Pittsburg areas. Cars are delivered for free within 50 miles of their five Pennsylvania locations. Customers have five days or 500 miles to change their mind on their car. Each car comes with an AutoCheck report, and all vehicles undergo a 109-point inspection. CarSense also offers a 6-month or 6000-mile extended warranty for peace of mind.
  • Beepi.com – Beepi is a used car buying option in the California and Nevada areas. Customers in neighboring states can have Beepi cars shipped to them for an extra $999. It works differently from other used car sellers online because the seller lists the car themselves, after it passes a 185-point inspection. All cars listed are less than six years old and have fewer than 60,000 miles. Customers have 10 days or 1000 miles to test drive their new car.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

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Montway Auto Transport

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If You’re Planning To Buy Your Dream Car Online, Don’t Miss These Tips

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

More About Mental Strength

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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