Five Car Buying Tools to Help You Find Your Next Car
by Alex Kelly
When it’s time to buy a car, being knowledgeable about your options before you start hearing sales pitches can help you sort fact from fiction and put you in a better position to buy. There are many car buying resources to help you research, so be sure to take advantage of them.
1. Kelley Blue Book
The industry standard in determining the values of both new and used cars, this website lets you get a feel for the auto market before you start shopping. You can look up how much your current car might fetch as a trade-in or as a private sale. You can see the current cost of small SUVs, hybrids or mid-sized sedans. You can also find reviews of most makes and models. Basically, the Kelley Blue Book is a great first stop in the car buying process.
Edmunds is an online car buying resource that’s packed with information about new and used cars. You can find reviews, car buying tips, advice on how to care for your vehicle and insight on affordable car insurance. You can also use Edmunds’ car buying tools such as a dealer locator, financing calculator and a side-by-side comparison of cars you’re considering.
3. Word-of-mouth recommendations
Sometimes a recommendation from someone you trust can be more informative than any review you may read. When you start your search for a vehicle, don’t hesitate to use one of the best car buying resources: your friends and family. Since they won’t be trying to give you a sales pitch, you’ll get honest opinions on the good, the bad and the ugly about the vehicles they own. In the event someone you know owns one of the cars you’re considering, ask if you can go out for a test drive.
4. Online auto marketplaces
There are several websites that will connect you with private owners and dealers selling new and used cars. These sites often offer valuable information, because you can get a sense for what cars are selling for and the types of features you can reasonably expect to find in your price range.
5. Industry magazines
Finally, don’t forget about auto magazines, particularly if you’re interested in buying the next up-and-coming automobile. These publications have reviews and plenty of information on new technology and features.
Once you buy your new car, don’t forget to insure it. It’s not only the law, but it’s also a good idea to protect your investment. While you’re researching cars, look for car insurance reviews so you can find a reputable company offering an affordable price.