Buy new cars with confidence using these resources.
Buying new cars these days is as easy as a few simple clicks of the mouse. Gone are the days when the car salesperson and, of course, the sales manager, had the upper hand. Consumers can go in to a car dealership armed with nearly as much information as the salespeople have. Car dealers know this and have adjusted accordingly by offering Internet specials and no-haggle pricing and by selling new cars for a specified amount over invoice. Savvy buyers are no longer falling for the huge mark-up in new vehicles, as with a little Internet know-how and comparison shopping they can stroll into a dealership with confidence.
Named the Best Car Research Site by Forbes ASAP, Edmunds.com has been helping car buyers make smart decisions since 1995. This site offers a wealth of information for new car buyers. One of the most important is the ability to price out a new car with options and obtain the dealer cost and the MSRP -- the manufacturer's suggested retail price -- for the vehicle. The site offers the ability to compare new cars, side-by-side, with all options and dealer cost. There is also a search function where consumers can pull up the different incentives and rebates that are being offered.
One of the most important aspects of new car buying is for consumers to know what they can afford. According to Edmunds.com, a good standard is for buyers to keep a car payment below 20 percent of their monthly post-tax pay. Fortunately, Edmunds offers very good financial calculators on its site where buyers can compare buying to leasing. Buyers can also determine if it is a better deal to take cash back as opposed to a lower APR. Additionally, Edmunds is able to tell buyers what the selling prices have been within a certain time frame.
Along with these options, Edmunds offers a wealth of articles on cars and car-buying, it rates all the best cars and it streamlines the purchasing process by allowing consumers to request quotes from several different dealerships. The site has one of the best functions seen on any car site, a function that allows buyers to determine the true cost of owning a particular car. By estimating maintenance costs, insurance and interest, among other things, Edmunds can give consumers a good look as to what they will pay over five years for a particular vehicle. With all of its advantages, this site is a must-visit for any new car buyers.
Every seven seconds a buyer and a seller are introduced on Cars.com. Buyers can log into Cars.com and pick out their exact vehicle with options all the way down to the color. Once buyers have made all their choices, they are matched up with local dealers who have what they are looking for. If new car buyers would rather sell their current car instead of trading it in, they can place an ad on Cars.com. For the price of a local newspaper ad, consumers can quickly have their car listed on a site that boasts 10 million new visitors per month.
Another great consumer site is Autobytel. With similar functions as Cars.com and Edmunds.com, Autobytel offers Internet pricing and puts buyers in contact with dealers. One disadvantage of this site is that it doesn't give the pricing until after the potential buyer has submitted contact information. For someone who is just window shopping and is not sure if he or she is ready to purchase, this could be a little annoying.
Kelly Blue Book is a great site for consumers to go to if they have a trade-in. They can enter their vehicle information and obtain a fair trade-in value or a retail value if they are looking to sell. According to Kelly Blue Book, their trade-in values represent the amount a consumer should receive for their trade-in. This is not always a perfectly accurate number, since actual trade-in cannot be assessed without viewing the vehicle, but it does help a consumer get a general idea of what they could get for their trade.
Consumer Reports has a mission to provide unbiased and up-to-date information on a range of products, including cars. By allowing no third-party advertising, utilizing secret shoppers and employing highly technical product testers, they remain unbiased. This would be one of the first places buyers should go to help narrow down their search if they are choosing between different makes and models.
Some other great sites for buyers to utilize include MSN Autos and AutoTrader.com. Having all this information at their fingertips should allow buyers to purchase with the confidence and the knowledge that they are getting the best deal possible on their new car.