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      January 19, 2020

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Cars vs Cars Direct

To help you find the Best New Car Sites, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Cars and Cars Direct.

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Buy Your New Car with True Car Today! Who doesn't love the experience of getting a new car? There's something exciting about sitting behind the wheel of your brand-new vehicle, testing out all the latest features and picturing all of the road trips and even short drives across town, while breathing in that classic new-car smell.

Why buy new? There are many reasons car-buyers opt for a new vehicle rather than buying a used model - or, as they call it now, a "pre-owned" car. One of the biggest reasons is the warranty: typically 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. With a pre-owned vehicle, you'll only get what's left on the original warranty, or maybe a 30-day policy from the dealer itself.

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Best Reviews

2020

New Car Site Reviews

4 stars
Cars

CARS

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With a name like Cars, it's no surprise that they are a solid resource when looking to buy a new vehicle. Although they do not offer any guaranteed pricing or discounts when using their service, what we love about their website is the anonymity they give to people using their site.

Most websites that provide quotes on new car prices require you to enter your contact information in order to see detailed pricing at your local dealerships - and we all know that can lead to numerous phone calls and emails from hopeful salespeople who want to convince you not to miss out on a hot deal, "available today only!" On the other hand, to see what your local dealerships have to offer when using the Cars site, you only have to enter the make and model of the new car you want, along with a zip code and a desired search radius. That's it.

Your results page will then show you exactly what is in inventory within the distance you specified. You can sort by price, year, distance, photos, and date listed; also, you can filter by several parameters such as exterior color, trim, drivetrain, and more. From there, it's completely up to you: you can see a vehicle's details, including the VIN number and how many people have viewed that particular car in the last 30 days.

You can click on the price breakdown and see if the dealer has already included any markdowns or other discounts. And, if you decide you'd like to contact the dealer, click on the green "Check Availability" button and enter your name, email and ZIP code (phone number is optional) to be connected with the dealership.

Also, be sure to check out the News section at the top of the Cars website. There you can find the latest car news and reviews, get information about top auto shows, and even get help for first-time car buyers if you need it. We also like that Cars has a resource for Service & Repair that includes safety and recall notices, Car Maintenance 101, and links for finding a service center if your new car needs an oil change or other work.

With an "A+" rating as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, helpful resources for car buyers, and a no-contact-required way of browsing vehicles available nearby, Cars easily earns a high rating. We recommend that you check out what Cars has to offer when you're ready to buy a new car.

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3 stars
Cars Direct

CARS DIRECT

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CarsDirect can help you find the new car you're looking for. From their main page, you can choose a make and model, body style, or price. Once you've made your selection, you'll be taken to an information page that shows you not only the basic pricing information for that particular vehicle, but also a list of all available incentives and rebates - we didn't find that on any of the other new car sites in our review.

You can also click across the tabs to get more details about technical specifications, photos, reviews, and safety ratings. When you're ready, click on the green "Get Your Price" button. As with most sites, you will be asked to enter your name, email, phone number, and address.

Although it says you'll get your results in just 30 seconds, what you actually get is a confirmation that you'll be contacted by a representative of a given dealership. Until you speak with the salesperson, the only pricing you're given is the MSRP, the invoice price, and the target price (a "typical negotiated price generally found in your area") from the previous screen. We definitely prefer sites that allow shoppers to not only see the actual pricing currently available, but that also give them the ability to select which dealerships they prefer. It's possible that shoppers have already had a less-than-satisfying interaction with a given dealer and would rather not have to field phone calls and/or emails from that business once more.

CarsDirect is also a mixed bag when it comes to reputation, in our opinion. Their site states that they've been rated as the #1 site for buying new cars online by PC World, Time, and Forbes, among others, which is encouraging. We also found a good number of customer reviews praising the pricing insights and other information offered on the CarsDirect site, which helped them to get the best price when they went into their local dealer.

On the other hand, their parent company (Internet Brands, Inc.) did not have a rating or an accreditation with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review. While this doesn't mean that CarsDirect has a bad reputation, it does take them down somewhat from other sites we considered that had both a good rating and an accreditation with the BBB.

On a more positive note, the research information mentioned in those customer reviews is very thorough. One of the most-referenced tools is the ability to compare cars, to determine which vehicle provides the most value for the money with respect to features, safety ratings, and other characteristics. Especially if you're not exactly sure which new car you plan to purchase, this may help you make the most informed decision possible.

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Continued from above

Of course, you could always spend a sizeable amount on an extra warranty to cover the vehicle. But besides the warranty, new cars also tend to have special offers: factory rebates, dealer incentives, even "Black Friday" pricing around the holidays! You may decide that you want to take advantage of a great deal that finally puts the car you've always wanted within the reach of your budget.

Buying a new car lets you get the features that matter to you. Maybe you've moved from Florida to Maine and you're thinking that all-wheel drive could be a lifesaver when the roads are covered with snow. Or, you'd love to have a car with included Wi-fi so that the kids can stream their favorite videos during the daily carpool to school. No matter what bells and whistles you want, buying your car new is the only way to make sure you get them!

Most websites for buying new cars are relatively similar: enter the type of car you're looking for, along with your ZIP code, and get quotes from dealers in your area that may have your vehicle in stock. So, what factors should you consider to choose the best new cars website? Consider these three criteria:

  • Price. Does the site offer you a way to get the best possible price for your car, either through a discount or through a relationship with a network of trusted dealers? Or does it just tell you where to find the car you want while leaving the haggling up to you?
  • Information. Will the new car site help you to make your purchase decision? Will you be better-informed with respect to the costs of owning the vehicle you choose? Do they offer other details on current trends in the automotive marketplace?
  • Extra Services. Can the site connect you with resources for getting auto insurance, an auto loan, or other relevant products and services?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best New Car websites available today. We hope these reviews get you on the road to finding your next vehicle at a terrific price!

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