Car Buyers Information Guide
The internet has transformed the way we now buy used and new cars. To get the right car at the best possible price, both car and truck shoppers must understand how to navigate the online new and used auto sales sector. Savvy internet shoppers should know the best places to search for a car that fits their budget and needs, all while avoiding scams. At Carseek.com, we can guide you through the car buying experience.
Below, we have provided you with the essential information you need on buying new and used cars online, the different manufactures available, and the best ways to look for and purchase new and used cars online, etc. Additionally, carseek.com offers a FREE car buyers guide download for the consumer.
Buying Used And New Cars Online
Because of such factors as high fuel prices and inflation, there has been a decrease in the demand for new cars. As well, there has been a short supply of new cars, mainly due to global, pandemic-related issues. This has resulted in an increase in the cost of both new and used cars. However, if you find yourself in need of a new or used car, there are ways to find a vehicle without having to pay thousands over the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).
Arrange Financing Before Beginning Your Car Search
It is important to go over your budget before looking for a new or used car. You can then figure out how you will arrange for financing, such as a lease, dealer financing, and bank financing, based on what you can afford to pay as a down payment, and how much you can afford to pay monthly. It is helpful to get pre-approved financing before car shopping because it allows you to establish a set price you cannot go over. As well, you can compare the terms of dealer financing which will allow you to get a good sense of the best financing option that meets your budget needs.
Do Your Online Used And New Car Research
It is beneficial to do your own online car research. Focus on your desired vehicle make and model, and consider if you really require all of the options and features offered. Find a few cars by searching on the manufacturer’s website and check out trusted car finder websites. Before you do your search, make sure you understand the difference between the dealer cost and the MSRP.
Today, it is important to be aware of the fact that for the near future, negotiations will not be as flexible as they were just a few years ago. If you get a deal that is not over the MSRP, then you have done well. The key point to know is you need to have an informed perspective when engaging in price negotiation, and try not to prolong the deal as there may be someone else ready to grab a fair deal. As well, because these are financially challenging times, reliability and fuel efficiency should be important key features to consider when car shopping online.
Get a Vehicle History Report
The standard for used vehicle history reports is CARFAX. This service provides a detailed report of how many owners a car has had, and how many accidents a car has been in. Most dealerships will provide CARFAX reports for used cars so they can make the car's condition transparent for the consumer. However, it is always helpful to have your trusted mechanic inspect a used car. Even a "certified pre-owned" car can have problems, so if you don't have the auto mechanic knowledge to assess a car yourself, it's worthwhile to arrange to have the car inspected by an independent mechanic.
Take A Vehicle Test Drive
If you're buying your car online through a dealership, it is very helpful, and to your advantage, to do a test drive. If you're working with a dealership's internet salesperson, you can easily schedule a test drive of the vehicle. A test drive gives you the chance to decide whether you can see yourself driving a certain vehicle for possibly the next 3 to 10 years. If the test-driven vehicle is clean, spacious and comfortable, drives smoothly, and doesn't make any strange sounds, it is a good sign that you may want to close the deal. As well as giving you the typical opportunities, a test drive also allows you to investigate a specific upgrade you may be considering to add to your purchase. Test driving a vehicle with that feature can help you decide if it is really the feature you want right now.
A Guide on Auto Manufacturer Ownership
The following is a list of some the leading auto manufacturers, and a few of their well known brands:
- Honda Motor Company – Acura, Accord
- Stellantis - Alfa Romeo ,Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, Ram
- General Motors – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Saturn, Pontiac
- Volkswagen Group – Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Porsche
- BMW Group – BMW
- Ford Motor Co. - Ford, Lincoln, Mercury
- Hyundai Motor Group – Hyundai, Genesis, Kia
- Honda Motor Co. - Honda
- Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance – Infiniti, Renault-
- Tata Motors – Jaguar, Land Rover
- Toyota Motor Corp – Toyota, Lexus, Scion
- Mazda Motor Corp – Mazda
- Zhejiang Geely Holding Group - Lotus
- Lucid Motors - Lucid
- Daimler AG - Mercedes-Benz
- BMW Group – Mini, Rolls-Royce
- Subaru Corp.- Subaru
- Saab AB - Saab
- Zhejiang Geely Holding Group – Polestar, Volvo
- Rivian Automotive - Rivian
- Tesla Inc. - Tesla
- Daimler AG - Smart
- Suzuki Motor Corp.- Suzuki
When it comes to such factors as: fuel efficiency, enhanced features/add-ons, safety, reliability, instances of mechanical issues, etc., which car you buy really does matter. This is why it pays to do your research when buying new and used cars online. The vehicle’s history, make, brand, model, and year, are all essential information to know before you buy. In addition, it is to your financial advantage to shop and compare car insurance plans online. Be sure to have a look at carseek.com's FREE car buyers guide for download to the consumer.
Types of Cars on the Market
- Luxury Cars
- Electric Cars
A Few of the Cheapest New Trucks and Cars You Can Buy for 2022
- 2021 Nissan Titan: $38,145
- 2022 Honda Ridgeline: $38,115
- 2022 Toyota Tundra: $37,645
- 2022 Jeep Gladiator: $36,910
- 2022 Ram 1500: $36,195
- 2022 Ford F-150: $31,335
- 2022 Ram 1500 Classic: $30,855
- 2021 GMC Sierra 1500: $29,295
- 2022 Nissan Frontier: $29,015
- 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: $25,215
- 2022 Ford Maverick: $21,490
A Few of the Cheapest 2021 Luxury Cars and SUVs
- Infiniti Q50: $37,625
- Mercedes-Benz GLA-class: $37,280
- Lincoln Corsair: $37,100
- Genesis G70: $37,025
- BMW 2-Series: $36,895
- Cadillac XT4; $36,790
- BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe: $36,695
- BMW X1: $36,395
- Audi Q3: $35,095
- Volvo XC40: $34,795
A Few of the Best Used Cars Under $5000
- Acura TSX
- BMW 5-Series Wagon
- Buick Park Avenue
- Ford F-150
- Ford Ranger
- Honda Accord
- Honda Insight
- Infiniti J30
- Infiniti M35 Sport
- Jeep Cherokee
A Few of the Best Used Trucks for under $10,000
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- Chevrolet S10 ZR2
- Dodge Dakota
- Ford Super Duty
- Honda Ridgeline
- Nissan Titan
- Subaru Baja
- Toyota Tacoma
- Toyota Tundra
Fuel Hungry Vehicles
June 26, 2022 Update: The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is now $4.90.
- 2022 Ford Expedition
- 2022 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2022 Toyota Sequoia
- 2022 Nissan Armada
- 2022 Infiniti QX80
- 2022 Nissan Titan
- 2022 Ram 1500
- 2022 Cadillac Escalade
- 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe
Highest Horsepower Cars
- Highest Horsepower Convertibles - #1: 2022 Ferrari 812 GTS
- Highest Horsepower Coupe - #1: 2021 Ferrari 812 Superfast
- Highest Horsepower Hatchbacks - #1: 2023 BMW M8
- Highest Horsepower Sedans - #1: 2022 Bentley Flying Spur
- Highest Horsepower Wagons - #1: 2022 Audi RS 6
Maximize Your Vehicle Trade-In
Factors that go into how much a car is worth include:
- Condition, including accident history
- Options, features, and add-ons
- Trim level or style
There are a few important ways you can get the most money for your vehicle trade-in. They include:
- A used-car dealer is a good place to do a vehicle trade-in deal. If you have a vehicle that is currently in demand, you will likely get a better price for the trade-in.
- If you have had your car for quite awhile, it may require some repairs. If you plan to trade the vehicle in, then it would be to your benefit to acquire an estimate for the cost of repairs to provide the dealer’s estimator so you know that you are getting the correct deductions of costs for repairs.
- Car dealers are looking for attractive and clean used cars therefore the external and internal appearance of your vehicle is important. Make sure you have your vehicle cleaned thoroughly on the inside and outside. Low-mileage vehicles are also popular so you may get a better price if your car has low-mileage.
Consumerreports.org says, "You'll get the best deal by keeping the purchase and trade-in negotiations separate. If you allow a salesperson to mix the two, it gives him or her too much opportunity to manipulate the figures. It could end up that a good price in one area is canceled out by a poor price in the other."
According to Experian, one of the credit reporting agencies, credit scores are broken down as follows:
- Excellent, 800-850: This category includes 21 percent of borrowers and gets the best rates.
- Very Good, 740-799: A quarter of borrowers fall into this category, which promises better-than-average interest rates from lenders.
- Good, 670-739: This segment covers 21 percent of borrowers, and Experian says only 8 percent of the group is likely to become seriously delinquent on payments.
- Fair, 580-669: This category is considered subprime and comprises 17 percent of borrowers.
- Poor, 300-579: Only 16 percent of borrowers are in the deep subprime category, which carries the likelihood of extra fees, deposits, or loan application rejections.
How to Get A Good Car Loan
- Several months before you begin your car search, check your credit report and credit score. This will show your loan repayment position when you begin your loan search.
- If you have a low credit score, take steps to improve it. Review your credit report and correct errors or discrepancies in your report. Pay down or pay off current debt and late bills. Pay bills for credit cards and utilities on time and if possible, pay a higher amount than required.
- If you are on a tight budget, don’t go for the costly extras. Why get a fancy luxury vehicle if you don’t need one right now?
- There is more to consider than just the monthly payments. A monthly payment offer may seem low, but if the term of the loan is really long, you will likely be paying more over the life of the loan. There is also a risk you will end up owing more on the car than what it’s worth. A reasonable term at a reasonable price is well worth considering.
- Get multiple car loan quotes online. Experian.com, one of the credit reporting agencies, says, "Most credit scores will count multiple car loan inquiries as one." They note in their Experian.com Blog, "As long as the inquiries were all made within a certain period of time, usually 14 days but sometimes longer, they are counted as just one when calculating your score. The practice of counting multiple auto loan inquiries as just one enables you to shop for the best rates and terms without hurting your credit scores."
It is important to note that Edmunds.com says, "Dealerships tend to have better rates, but that's not always the case, so it's worth getting pre-approved by other lenders before visiting the dealership to give yourself a basis for comparison."
How much of a Car Down Payment?
Not everyone can manage putting down 20% on a new car, and about 10% on a used car, to offset the initial depreciation, particularly with today's car prices. Edmunds.com says, "If you need to make a smaller down payment, our advice is to put down as much as you can without dipping into your emergency savings. If you put down less than 20% on a new car, it may be worth looking into gap insurance." Gap Insurance is coverage that protects people who owe more on their loan than the car is worth, in the event the vehicle is completely totaled and collision insurance won’t cover the total value of the loan.
Additionally, Consumerreports.org advises, "If you’re forced to pay more than usual for a new car, your best bet is probably going to be to keep it for the long haul. Consult reviews and ratings to make sure you buy something reliable that won’t give you problems later on."
About Leasing a New Vehicle
As car prices steadily increase, leasing a new vehicle is an option to consider. However, according to Experian.com, "the percentage of all new vehicles that are leased is down in the first quarter of 2022 when compared with both 2020 and 2021." With a car lease, buyers make monthly payments to drive a new car for a set term. That payment tends to be less than the cost of monthly loan financing for a new vehicle. However, buyers must return the car at the end of the lease term.
There are some car leasing disadvantages. If you neglect to keep the vehicle in good condition, you will be required to pay extra wear-and-tear charges when you return it. Also, it normally costs you more than a car loan equivalent since you are paying for the vehicle during the period when it is quickly depreciating. In addition, lease contracts set a limited number of miles. If you exceed that limit, you will be required to pay a penalty for excess mileage.
There are benefits to leasing a new car. You may be able to drive a more expensive, more equipped vehicle than you would if you got a car loan. You also have the benefit of driving the vehicle during the period where there tends to be less vehicle problems. In addition, you will get to drive a late-model vehicle that is normally covered by the manufacturer’s new car warranty.
When searching for safety ratings of a particular car or truck you are interested in buying, auto reviews usually provide all the information you will require. This includes everything on safety features and ratings from organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Safety features of particular models tend to be listed on the manufacturers’ sites, but you can also go to IIHS.org where you can look up safety ratings as well as news about crash test results for just about every vehicle. To learn about recalls,you can use the website, ConsumerReports.org. You just select your make and model, and you should then be able to view any pertinent recall information.
A Guide on Auto Insurance
Once you buy a car or truck, auto insurance is mandatory. A quality insurance policy means you have the right coverage at a fair price that you can afford.
Basic insurance policy coverage includes:
- Liability: In most states, liability insurance is required by law. Liability covers damage to another driver’s car and related medical expenses.
- Collision: This insurance covers collision-related repairs to your own vehicle. Although it may be required if you lease a vehicle, or required by the lender, it is typically optional insurance.
- Comprehensive: This optional insurance provides protection against car damage that is not caused by a collision. An example would be a tree falling on the car during a strong storm. This insurance provides extra coverage protection for brand new cars. It is chosen by new car owners since it can be quite costly to repair or replace an expensive, brand new vehicle. It can provide extra financial protection for new car owners.
The Internet has become one of the most popular places to shop for auto insurance. Finding low cost car insurance online involves utilizing auto insurance search and compare tools located on car and insurance websites. This tool enables users to compare a number of insurance policy quotes from various auto insurance providers. It is an easy and fast way to get multiple low cost auto insurance quotes. You can then assess each quote and the coverage offered to select the policy that best matches your insurance needs and budget.
Most auto insurance providers will offer discount incentives. You can save on your car insurance policy by taking advantage of as many insurance discount incentives as possible. Discount incentives can include: maintaining low mileage, anti-theft device installation, age discount, avoiding traffic violations, completing a driver safety program, maintaining a good credit history, etc. By using an online multiple auto insurance quote tool, and knowing what discount incentives you can get, it is easy to find and buy cheap auto insurance without giving up important auto coverage.
When you do your research, make sure to search within the trusted, reputable car finder websites, and understand what you need to know about buying used and new cars online, as well as auto insurance. By doing so, you will greatly increase your chances of getting the right car at a fair price, even during difficult economic times.
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