Using the Internet to Save On Your Next Car

carDo you ever feel like you paid more than you needed to for your last car? The fact, is times have changed, and buyers today are spoiled with options when it comes to models, incentives, and financing. To make the most of these, hop online and start arming yourself with information that will help you save money. You can conduct a transaction entirely online, or use the internet to seek out bargains and statistics that could be used in negotiation on the showroom floor.

Compare Car Statistics and Reviews

Buying a car is about more than just the sticker price. You can use car comparison sites to find out what a vehicle’s true market value is and compare it to models of the same class. At the same time, you can also read reviews to find out about factors like depreciation, insurance, and road tax, as detailed in this article here. Brush up on the latest models and car buying statistics on automotive blogs to find a model that will fit within your budget, and read owner reviews for an unbiased look at what owning this car will really cost.

Get Approved for Online Financing

In my opinion, car payments suck.  However, not everyone has the means to pay cash for a reliable car when they need one. If you need to secure a car loan to pay for your vehicle, obtain online quotes or get preapproved for financing using the internet first. If you agree to the first offer a dealership puts on the table, you may end up with unfavorable loan terms, administrative fees, and a high interest rate. By comparing options online and getting preapproved for a loan, you’ll be able to compare rates to find the best deal.

Gain the Upper Hand in Negotiations

Negotiation and bargaining are part of the car buying process, whether you buy used or new. You can start your negotiations with an auto dealer without visiting the lot in person. Try emailing a few dealers in your area to state your interest, and ask them to give you their best offer. This allows you to communicate on your own terms, without feeling pressured into splurging for additional features. It also gives you the bargaining power of competition. If one dealer gives you a lower price than the others, you can ask the other dealers if they can beat the lowest offer.

Get More Money for your Used Car

Finally, you can use the internet to research a good resale value for your used car. Whether you decide to trade it in at the dealership or sell it privately, it’s important to find out what it’s worth. Values will vary, but will be based on factors such as age, make, model, and mileage. You can run all these numbers through comparison tools at pricing sites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com to get an online appraisal of your car’s true value.

Knowledge is power when it comes to buying a new or used car. Don’t go into a showroom unprepared or you’ll miss out on lucrative incentives and financing options. By using the internet first to conduct research, you can put yourself in a better position to save money.

Have you ever conducted research on the internet before buying a new or used car?

 
About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. I generally look up Ebay to see local prices, but private sellers tend to go to the dealership and only lower prices a little. Dealerships pay rents, wages… so private sales should be at least 20% lower. Otherwise it is better to go to the dealer and get a car with some guarantee.
    Pauline recently posted..Why do we value money?My Profile

  2. When I bought my car nearly 2 years ago, I used the internet to educate me. In the end, I used a car broker to clinch the deal. I got a very popular car for dealer invoice. It beat every online deal.
    krantcents recently posted..If You Were BossMy Profile

  3. I’ve used the internet to both educate on purchases and buy vehicles. I bought my first car via an online site similar to craigslist. It worked out great. It was an old retired man looking tp offload his 10yearold corolla for $750. I drove it almost every day for three years put mild maintenance in it and sold it myself, online, for $800.
    Catherine recently posted..May 2014 Debt Repayment: Unexpected Expenses EditionMy Profile

  4. I used the internet to do research and find out what was out there when I bought my motorcycle. The internet is a very useful resource and makes our lives so much easier.
    Aldo R @ MDN recently posted..The Friday FiveMy Profile

  5. My dad used an internet car broker to buy his new car and got about £4000 off the list price. When its time for me a get a new (to us) car, I will defiantly be using the internet to look up deals and prices and go in to the car salesroom armed with this info.
    MrsFinancialFreedom recently posted..What We Have Earned, Saved, Invested and Spent in the Month of May 2014My Profile

  6. When I bought my car back in Feb it was the first time I had the opportunity to use the internet to purchase a car. I loved how you could quickly compare prices, get info on the old vehicle, etc. I think it’s to our advantage. Back in the old days…ha ha
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted..Carefree Summer DaysMy Profile

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge