If you’re looking to buy a car, we hope you’ve read Buying a Car? Get the Right Financing! If you haven’t read it, you should check it out. It’s got some great information on different financing options available to car buyers. Today’s post, however, is about making sure you have the information you need when you’re buying a new (or new to you) car.
For many years, the car buyer was at a disadvantage when it came to negotiating. This was doubly true for car buyers who didn’t know very much about cars. Today, thanks to technology, it is easier than ever to access the information you need to prepare for a trip to the auto dealer. Before you ever set foot on a car lot, you should know what you’re looking for and the price range you are willing to shop in.
When you check out auto listings online, you can research the vehicles you’re interested in without the pressure of a salesperson’s presence. This allows you to find how much similar cars are selling for at different dealerships in your area, calculate financing, look up specific vehicle histories, and check out vehicle reviews. Being prepared can help you get the best price possible on your next vehicle.
Second, Take Your Smartphone
Access Their Website
Your smartphone gives you direct access to the dealership’s website so that you can have instant access to information, like how much they’re listing the vehicle for. You’ll hear a lot of salespeople tell you, “Yeah, we’re making you a great deal on this car!” Well, a great deal is usually quite a bit lower than their original asking price. Your smartphone allows you to know exactly how much they are (or aren’t) discounting the selling price. You can also access the sites of their competitors or sites like soloautos.com so that you can compare prices on the spot.
Have the Right Apps
The right apps can make your car shopping experience a lot easier. Some apps work better for buying new cars and some work better for buying used cars, so you’ll want to make sure you have the apps you need for your car shopping experience. We’ve put together a list of five of the best apps you can use when car shopping.
- Edmunds Car Reviews & Prices – This app is great for helping you with your research. You can look up specific car models and the trade-in and dealer retail value of the car; all with a simple, highly readable interface. One of the best features of the Edmunds app is that it gives you access to reviews for both dealerships and cars.
- KBB.com Official Guide – The Kelly Blue Book has been a standard resource for car buyers for a long time. Now you can have this vehicle value checker right on your smartphone.
- CarChecker – If you don’t know a lot about cars, this is a great app for you. The app gives you a checklist of things to look for in order to determine if there is unacceptable wear and tear or other problems. Once you’ve gone through the checklist, it gives the car an overall score so that you know if you’re looking at a lemon.
- The Car Connection – This is another great app for reviews. You don’t just get reviews from consumers though. With The Car Connection app, you get auto journalist reviews as well, and ratings are both numeric and color-coded.
- CarFax or AutoCheck – We’ve put these two together because they have similar functions: they give you a detailed vehicle history. There is some debate over which is better, but they are both very prominent options for running a vehicle history.
As you shop for your next vehicle, make sure you have the tools you need to make the best decision that you can. Most salespeople are primarily motivated by their commision check, so make sure you’re well armed for your next negotiation, and always remember that you shouldn’t be afraid to walk away.