Step 2, Part 3: What Do I Want?

Page 7 of 17

Woman in her bath robe, surfing the internet

Shop & Compare

Would you believe a dealership that told you their cars are better than the dealership’s down the street? You won’t have to answer this question if you do your research before you sit down in the driver’s seat.

Buying, leasing, new and used will seem like simple decisions once you get into the process of researching, comparing and shopping for vehicles. All of this can be done before ever heading to the dealership.

In this age of technology, we don’t need to rely on word of mouth to discover what people think of the vehicles they drive. We can learn about common mechanical failures, pricing, features and more just by doing a quick Internet search.

Here are a few of the sites that will help you learn more about cars before you buy:

Manufacturer sites

These sites are run by the car manufacturer. They can give you detailed information about available options, suggested retail price and local dealerships.

Dealer sites

If you want to do more than simply search the Web, a dealer site will often give you the option to buy online, as well.

Independent sites

Don’t miss out on the valuable information that you can find on independent sites not affiliated with manufacturers or dealers. They offer advice on choosing a car, finding insurance and estimating a car’s value.  Also, don’t skip car club websites. These groups consist of people who love the cars you’re interested in, but they can also offer valuable information about common mechanical issues or frustrations.

  • Carfax - This service offers a full report on any used car you’re considering. Many dealers provide the report with the car free of charge so you can be sure the car hasn’t suffered any major damage that will cause problems down the road.
  • Edmunds - Started in 1995, Edmunds was one of the first automotive consumer information sites on the Web. It offers comprehensive research on both vehicles and the car buying process.
  • Kelley Blue Book - Kelley Blue Book can help you estimate the value of a pre-owned vehicle or your trade-in based on condition and age.
  • Consumer Reports - Always check a consumer site for recalls and customer reviews. If you had known beforehand that the convertible top tends to leak, would you have bought the car?

« Previous Page  |  Next Page »