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The Best New Car Buying Sites

What's the Best Way to Buy a New Car?

Gone are the days of heading blindly over to the nearest dealership, hoping to find something you'll like and being largely at the mercy of the salesperson who greets you at the door. Now, most people do extensive research online before ever setting foot on the lot - and that's assuming they're not having the vehicle delivered directly to their home, sight unseen. Today's new car-buying experience is vastly different from what it was even ten years ago.

So, what are the ways you can put online car-buying platforms to good use? Your first step is to gather information. What makes and models do you prefer? Which cars have a stellar track record for quality and safety? How much should you expect to spend to get your must-have features? The best sites will give you all of that knowledge and then some.

Wednesday, July 17th

2024 New Car Buying Site Reviews

Cars Review Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 5 Star Rating


5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Cars is the absolute best way to buy a new car. Everything about this site is a winner, from detailed, expert reviews to a "matchmaker" feature to help you determine which cars will meet your expectations. Inventory is abundant too, with over 50,000 vehicles added daily. All that's left for you is to reach out to the dealership and finalize your purchase - and Cars makes that quick and easy too. This site gets our first-place ranking among car-buying services for new vehicles.

CarGurus Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating

CarGurus makes new car shopping a breeze: you'll see plenty of available vehicles near you, with enough information to make a good decision. This platform lets you either request contact from the dealership or connect directly to the dealer's website to finish the purchase process: totally transparent and no funny business. CarGurus is one of our favorite sites for buying a new car.

Autotrader Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating

Should you be one of the 14 million people who visit Autotrader each month in search of a new vehicle? We say yes! This service efficiently connects you to real listings of cars available near you, and doesn't make you guess which dealers are selling them or wait for them to respond to an online contact form. You may find a slightly longer list of matching cars with our two higher-rated services, but overall Autotrader should get your attention when buying new cars.

Edmunds Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating

You'll have a hard time finding a more knowledgeable site than Edmunds when looking for information on new cars. Video test drives, in-depth reviews, and comparison guides are just a few ways they help you pick the right vehicle for your needs. Edmunds has an "A+" and accreditation from the BBB - a sterling reputation - but comes up a little short when actually connecting you with available vehicles in your area. Still, this is a resource you can trust, even if you wind up needing to use another site to buy a new car.

True Car Review 3 Star Rating

True Car

3 Star Rating

TrueCar has dropped in our rankings, going from our first-place choice for buying new cars to "just average" . You'll have to create an account to see vehicles available near you, and there's no guarantee that dealers will honor the price quote offered by TrueCar - or that they won't sell it before you show up for your scheduled test drive. This service can help you on the research end, but its higher-rated rivals do a better job of getting you behind the wheel.

Web2Carz Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating

We give Web2Carz props for being extremely informative: from video reviews to automotive industry updates, you'll get anything you need to make a smart decision on your new car purchase. However, this isn't the most useful resource for finding that vehicle: listings are limited to a small number of partner dealerships and probably won't include many available new cars near you.

Cars Direct Review 2 Star Rating

Cars Direct

2 Star Rating

There's nothing direct about using Cars Direct to buy a new car. You can get lots of background information about hundreds of makes and models, but this site makes it hard to see what vehicles are available or get a quote. Beyond that, many users of this platform complain about their contact details being sold to many other businesses. Use Cars Direct for research, but trust a higher-ranked service when you're ready to make your purchase.

Driveway Review 2 Star Rating


2 Star Rating

You might be tempted by the convenience of using Driveway to buy a new car: purchase it online and have it delivered to your doorstep, all with no-haggle pricing and a 7-day, 400-mile return policy. However, this company's reputation should have you heading in the opposite direction: buyers frequently report not receiving the documentation needed to register their vehicles, and customer support has a poor track record for getting problems fixed. Pick a different option for buying new cars.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Next, use a car-buying site to figure out what cars are in stock near you - or nationwide, if you're willing to make a trip to pick it up or if the dealer offers delivery (usually for an extra charge). Use all of the available tools to narrow down your options by color, price, desired technology, miles per gallon, or any other criteria you've prioritized. When you click on a specific vehicle's listing, you can typically see which dealership is selling it and how to get in touch. You may even be able to see ratings from previous customers to determine if the dealer has a good reputation.

Finally, it's time to work with the dealership to make your purchase. At this point, most shoppers will head to the lot to finalize the deal: setting up financing if needed, bringing in their trade-in when applicable, and driving away. But, look at the vehicle listing closely and you may find you have the option to have the car brought right to you. Why not?

There are quite a few websites offering to help you find your new car. How can you tell which one to use? Keep these factors in mind:

  • Resources. Any website can try to sell you a car, but does it give you the information you need to make an informed decision? You might want to look at videos of test drives, comparisons between your two top picks, or articles that help you decide on a budget.
  • Transparency. How much detail can you get on any particular car? Does the site clearly tell you where the vehicle is located and which dealer is offering it? Are you able to make direct contact or do you have to use a form on the website and wait for a response? Can you see a car's pricing history?
  • Reputation. What do people say about their experience with using a particular car-buying site? Did it help them find legitimate vehicle listings or did it result in tons of spam emails and phone calls? Has the Better Business Bureau rated the company?

To help you in the search for your new set of wheels, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for online car-shopping. We're sure that this information will save you time and get you connected with a vehicle you'll love to drive!

The Best New Car Buying Sites Compare New Car Buying Sites Compare New Car Buying Site Reviews What are the best New Car Buying Sites Best New Car Buying Site Reviews

New Car Buying Site FAQ

Just like any other product you can buy online, you'll find a much bigger selection on the internet than if you try to go store-to-store, or in this case dealership-to-dealership. Other reasons to shop for a car online are to save time, avoid the haggling and negotiations of salesmen (sorry, not sorry), minimize the pressure to buy, and do everything at your own convenience. Buying new vehicles online is more popular than ever before and companies are jumping on board with making it as easy as possible for customers.
Make sure the company you're buying from has a good Better Business Bureau rating, high customer reviews, and is a service you've heard of before. It may help to call in and talk to their customer service team to get information about their processes as well. Beware of prices that seem "too good to be true" , try to buy as locally as possible, and trust your gut. Do research online about the car company you're interested in buying from and you should get enough information to make an educated decision.
When you're buying from a dealership that sells new cars, they are going to have salesmen and customer service experts on standby to talk whenever you need. All it takes is a quick phone call and you can go over details about the vehicle you're interested in. They may be able to walk you through the buying process online if you run into some hiccups and want to make sure you're doing everything correctly. When it comes to making a big purchase like a car, don't hesitate to reach out to the seller to talk things through!
Technically there are instances where you'll be able to return a new car to a dealership, but we don't recommend it. Make absolutely sure you're happy with the car you purchase online because dealerships either won't take the car back, or they'll charge a few thousand dollars in return fees. Either way, you'll be out a lot of money! This is also the case for buying a vehicle in person. Cars are not something you can easily send back!
One obvious reason to buy a new car is because it will be more reliable than a used one. You never know exactly how a used car was treated or if it's bound to start having issues. New cars come with factory warranties that cover the cost of labor and repairs if you run into a problem in the first couple years of owning it. New cars have hardly any mileage on them, so they will last a lot longer for you than a used car would. They will have new oil, factory-fresh tires and brakes, the latest technology, and you can buy them in any make, model, or color you want.
One of the perks of getting a brand-new car is that it already comes with a warranty. Usually, it's something like 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. This covers parts and labor costs for normal usage. The exact warranty may differ slightly between makes and models of cars and the company you're buying from. You'll have the option of purchasing an extended warranty which would cover bumper-to-bumper issues for a period of time after the manufacturer's warranty is past. Some people choose to do this for peace of mind.
The first thing you should do when buying a new car online is to set a budget. You'll find so many beautiful makes and models with seemingly endless options for upgrades, so you want to know how much you can spend (or how big of a loan you can qualify for) before you even start looking. Do research on the car you're interested in to see if it gets good gas mileage, what other customers have said about its reliability, check crash test ratings, and what type of warranty it comes with. You might consider test driving some vehicles before pulling the trigger on purchasing it online. Take your time comparing vehicles online since you won't have the pressure or time constraints of looking around at the dealership.
Most dealers will deliver the car you purchased right to your house. How convenient is that? It will feel like Christmas morning when that shiny, new, fresh vehicle gets dropped off. If you buy from a dealer that's close by, you might be able to avoid some shipping costs or fees by picking it up directly from them. This allows you to stop and talk to the employees if you have any questions before driving your new car home.
The Best Reviews of New Car Buying Sites