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Thursday, June 30th
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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