Beginning the process of buying a car online

Over the coming weeks I am going to be buying a car online.  I thought I would detail the process on my blog.  I have never purchased a car that was in another state before or a long distance away.  Also I am looking to buy a used one as I think the value is a lot better and I have had good luck with my purchases in the past.  I know companies exist that you can get the car shipped to you for around $500 I believe.  I am still undecided if I will fly somewhere to look at the vehicle and drive it home or go with shipping.  By flying and driving I feel like I can at least do a final inspection to make sure everything on the vehicle looks as I expected as pictures can make vehicles or other things appear better then they actually are.  Personally I do not know anyone who has done this before so my first hand knowledge is pretty limited and I have a lot of learning and googling to do.

Currently I am in the market for a Ford Explorer or Chevrolet Traverse.  Last weekend I went to my local dealership and test drove both vehicles, I love the styling of the Explorer, but I am not a huge fan of the Microsoft Sync feature and have heard it does not work that well from others.  Also, I feel like I am paying extra to have that feature and I do not really care about it.  I would prefer to have the vehicle be either blue or black with under 15,000 miles, but would go up to 20,000.  I also would like it to have a V6 engine as I plan on purchasing a boat in the near future (small recreational) and would like the ability to pull it to nearby lakes.  In addition, I do not want leather as my dogs just scratch the heck out of it and it ends up looking like crap within a year or 2.  Unfortunately it seems like leather is practically a standard feature now and it is hard to find a vehicle without it now.  I also want the vehicle to be maintenance friendly as I plan on doing my own oil changes and caring for the vehicle as I got sick of wasting my time sitting at dealerships while it takes them 2 hours to change the oil on my vehicle when I had an appointment before hand.

Summary of what I am looking for:

  • Ford Explorer or Chevrolet Travers
  • Under 20,000 miles
  • V6 for pulling
  • non-leather
  • black or blue (blue preferred)

As I got through the process of my vehicle search, I will keep updating my blog.  Also, I am in Minnesota, so I am somewhat central to the rest of the United States and could book a one way plane ticket to most places for around $120 most likely.