Finding the right vehicle online
a car that fits your budget and lifestyle doesn't have to be a painstaking process
-- if you can learn how to navigate around the world of well rehearsed salesmen
dealers and too-good-to-be-true sales.
|7 ways the Internet
can help you buy a car
good news is you don't have to do it alone. With a growing number of online resources
geared to help you streamline the car-buying process, the Internet can do most
of the legwork for you, whether it's searching for pricing information, finding
dealers in your area or accessing user reviews.
Web has revolutionized the way people shop for cars," says Dennis Galbraith,
vice president of dealer products and operations at Cars.com. "It listens.
It understands. It match-makes people to the right car in an interactive way that
no other media can."
Web has revolutionized the way people shop for cars."It listens. It understands.”
-- Dennis Galbraith, Cars.com
an interactive test drive
The Web has also put the fun back into
shopping for a car. You may not be able to test drive it in the traditional sense
online, but with high-def videos and interactive vehicle tours popping up all
over the Web, you can get a pretty good feel for the car without actually experiencing
it first hand.
Sixty-eight percent of new-vehicle buyers and
59 percent of used-vehicle buyers do some research online before buying a vehicle,
according to Arianne Walker, research director with J.D. Power and Associates,
who says the automotive Internet's explosion of content will only continue.
a variety of Web sites
With access to a growing number of third-party
auto review sites (e.g., Edmunds.com and Carspace.com), consumer-generated media
sites (e.g., autoblog.com, thetruthaboutcars.com, Feedster.com, and Technorati),
and auto dealer and manufacturer sites that have become more sophisticated and
user-friendly, you no longer have to walk into the dealership feeling uninformed
and unprepared to make a sound buying decision.
has become a virtual showroom and the vehicle is often demonstrated better online,"
Galbraith says. "Some of these sites go as far as to cut the cars in half
so you can see the intricacies of the model." You won't see a car dismantled
in this way in a showroom, for instance. "There are real physical limitations
in how much you can demonstrate in person," he says.