Photo courtesy Edmunds.com. Taken by Scott Jacobs
Car Buying and the Internet
Whether you're buying new or used, there's no doubt that the Internet is a great tool for your car quest. If you are buying a new car, you can research the kind of car you want, the options you need, the price of the car and the price of the additional options. If you've done your homework, you'll be able to walk into a dealership armed with loads of valuable information.
When you're just starting out, a good first step is to go to the manufacturers' Web sites to check out the cars and the available options. You can usually find local dealers and request quotes or see the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Once you've narrowed your choices, you can check out an array of other Web sites for more pricing information:
Make sure you go to more than one pricing site to get the best idea of the average price.
In addition to using the Internet to research the car you want to buy, you can also use it to figure out your finance options and select a warranty for your car. Sites like E-Loan and Lending Tree offer online auto loans. A warranty is a contract that guarantees maintenance if your car has any mechanical or other problems. Remember that warranties are another way for dealers to get more money out of your bank account, so know what kind of warranty you want and how much you are willing to pay for it.
One of the most useful sites on the Internet is Car Buying Tips.com. This site offers up just about everything you need to know about buying a new or used car. The tips are invaluable for anyone who wants to make sure they don't overpay for their new ride. One of the best things about the site is that it deconstructs various dealer scams. If you know the dealer's agenda before you walk in the door, you'll be able to spot if someone is taking advantage of you. We're certainly not saying that all car dealers are out to dupe you, but you have to be careful and be prepared. Remember, an ounce of prevention can save you thousands of dollars in the end.
Now that you know where to start looking for information, let's take a closer look at what you should know before you go shopping.