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Cars Review

Tuesday, August 9th

2022 New Car Buying Site Reviews

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


5 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Millions of vehicles listed from more than 20,000 dealers
  • Very detailed car listings
  • Easy to connect with dealerships
  • Fun tool to help you find the right auto match for your needs
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Cars has been connecting car-shoppers with their new vehicles since 1998. With headquarters in Chicago, this site leaves no stone unturned to provide you with the information you need and the vehicles you want - millions of listings with tens of thousands of cars added every day. You won't find many platforms that can even come close to that.

No-hassle search tool

Do you already have a good idea what make and model you want? Select those in the dropdowns on the left side of the page; you can also specify the preferred distance, max price and your location, or go deeper with "advanced search" to put in criteria like the vehicle's min/max mileage, the colors you want inside or out, and so on. Once your results list pops up, you can sort them by whatever matters most (such as price or miles) or click on the features options to see just the matches that have your desired convenience features or tech specs.

Not quite a blind date

Not sure what new car is right for you? No problem. Cars has lots of research to consider, especially expert reviews on the newest car releases. But, this platform has something we fell in love with. See the part of the main page that says "Shop by what matters most" ? Cars refers to that as its "Matchmaker" tool - you might have seen a TV spot showing happy "matches" made between people and their cars. Start by entering the body style (like SUV, truck, or van) and the max price you want to pay. The next page has sliders for you to show how important certain criteria are, like ride comfort and cargo space. You'll be amazed how accurate the Matchmaker's recommendations are - and how you can quickly get more details or see local inventory of each one.

Ample inventory

We had no problem finding our test vehicle, a Toyota Highlander, near and far. Our nationwide search yielded nearly 4000 options; dropping the search radius down to a fairly tight 20 miles still left us with about 150 choices. We noticed that Cars had more dealerships in their network than any other platform we used: it included both Toyota-specific local dealers as well as nationwide, multi-make dealerships like AutoNation.

Best New Car Sites

Details depend on dealer

Overall, Cars' listings go into a lot of depth. Photos, VIN, features list, reviews of the dealership itself, payment calculators, and direct links to the vehicle on the dealer website are just a few of the things you'll see. But, that also depends on the dealer: we saw a few listings that didn't have a price or that only had one photo (or just a "coming soon" image). Cars will give you everything they possibly can - including a "Deal Gauge" to show you how competitively any particular vehicle is priced, and easy links to contact the dealer or go right to their website to find out more.

Phenomenal reputation

Car-shoppers love using this service. Almost everyone gives it a 4- or 5-star rating, and the BBB assigns its highest rating and accreditation to Cars as well. Across the board, people rave about how much time and effort is saved by using the tools here to find new cars that have everything they're looking for.

Best option for buying new cars

Whether you're just at the research stage or you're ready to buy right away, this is the perfect resource. You'll love how Cars covers most of the dealerships in your area and gives you options well outside of your locale too, and how quickly you can get connected when you find the right vehicle. Cars is our first choice when shopping for a new car, and we give the service our highest rating.

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.

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.
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 Reviews of New Car Buying Sites