Is it a bad idea to buy a car online without test driving it?

I've seen a used car I like the look of on a main dealer's website. I've spoken to a sales person, agreed a price and a price for my part exchange. I was willing to place a deposit on it and exchange cars when the lockdown is lifted. However, unsurprisingly, the dealer is keen to complete a remote sale. I initially said I wouldn't buy a car without seeing it and test driving it but I understand there is 14 day cooling off period with online and telephone sales. I'm not sure whether I should take the plunge and buy without seeing it or just be patient, possibly taking the risk that I will lose yet more of the value of my own car (which is a 69-plate with less than 1000 on the clock). The car I am interested in is a 2019 model with just under 5000 on the clock. I have test driven the model but not that particular car. Any advice would be appreciated.

Asked on 20 April 2020 by Maya Goia

Answered by Andrew Brady
Provided you don't visit the dealer during the process, you'll be covered by distance selling regulations. This means you can change your mind within 14 days and receive a full refund - you don't even need to give a reason. In truth, as the car's a nearly-new example from a main dealer, the risk is pretty low. It's unlikely to be hiding issues and, as you've test driven a similar model, you probably have a good idea whether you'd like it. We'd recommend asking what it's been used for, though - with 5000 miles on the clock it could be an ex hire car, for example.
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