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5 smart phone apps for car shopping

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USAA Auto Circle

A free application from insurance company USAA recently won a Forrester Research Groundswell Award for the mobile app category. The Auto Circle app helps USAA customers find, finance and insure a new car, says Bob Otis, assistant vice president for integrated solutions at USAA in San Antonio.

Once consumers have a car in mind, they can use the Auto Circle app to locate a dealer and receive a no-haggle price for it, he says.

Consumers can then use the app to apply for a car loan, says Otis. And if the buyer has existing USAA car insurance, the new car can be added to the policy from within the app, he says.

Auto Circle is available on the iPhone for USAA members. Generally, people who have honorably served in the military and their families, meet USAA eligibility requirements. Visit the company's website for more details on membership.

Otis says using the app and getting a set price for the vehicle helps prevent customers from getting taken advantage of at the dealership. "On average, our members will save about $4,500," he says.




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