I realize the title of this post has nothing to do with pretty Christmas decor or cute holiday outfits but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity as I know a lot of about it from my “previous life.” Today I am going to show you how to take the guesswork out of buying a car. I was recently contacted by CarGurus to see if I would be interested in reviewing their site and sharing my opinion.
Some of you may know that way back before becoming a mom, I spent 13 years working in corporate america, specifically the automotive industry. I worked for one of the largest manufacturers and most of my days were spent visiting dealerships. It was actually a fun job most of the time and the majority of the dealerships took great pride in customer service and providing a positive consumer experience.
Imagine being able to have a one-stop shop website that allows you to gather all the information prior to visiting a dealership.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Today I am going to show you how to research, compare and reach out to dealerships in a quick and easy way.
Buying an automobile is one of the biggest purchases you can make so knowing the facts and doing your research ahead of time is imperative.
The CarGurus website is fresh, clean and simple to use.
Founded in 2006, CarGurus is on a mission to bring trust and transparency to car shopping. They take complex data of more than 5 million cars listed on their site and distill it down into simple terms to make it fast and easy to find the car that is right for you.
Create an Account Section
One of the first things you want to do is create your own account (see arrow on graphic below). That way you can save items, send messages and research finance options. Being organized is one the most important things you can do when purchasing a car.
Search Criteria Section
From the home page, you can search by used, new or certified pre-owned. Whatever your Search Criteria is, the site will match you with the best deals for your search. The site factors in price, options, mileage, vehicle history, dealer reputation and more.
I love the deal ratings because it makes it easy to know what kind of deal you’re getting. You don’t have to second guess yourself.
For the example below, I searched for a used Jeep Cherokee in the Boston area.
Car Value Section
One of the features that I love is the “car value” page where you can either put in a vin # or search by model.
You can either put in a vehicle that you are looking to buy or sell yourself.
Why is this information important?
Knowledge is power!
Now I am not saying that you need to use the knowledge in a negative way when you visit a dealership but having an idea of the features and benefits of a specific vehicle and the finance programs available are key. The vehicle I bought a couple years ago was actually not the vehicle I intended to purchase. After doing my research online, I realized that I had overlooked a few options on a competitor model that better suited my needs. The internet is a powerful tool if you use it correctly.
The CarGurus website provides you with everything you need in one place. It’s easy to maneuver and organized. Like I said earlier, create an account and save important information for future reference.
Dealer Review Section
The Dealer Review section allows you to feel comfortable and confident in who you are giving your business to and the deal ratings make it easy to understand if you’re getting a fair deal.
Another favorite feature on the site is the Research tab. Just fill out the short section about the vehicle you want information on and a variety of articles will show up. Everything from comparisons, to test drives video reviews, the current manufacturer incentives and where to buy the vehicle based on zip code.
This is actually the section (the research section) that made me change my mind on my purchase from a couple years ago. I had not idea how my intended vehicle purchase stacked up against the competitors in the safety area and I also didn’t realize the amount of money back from the manufacturer being offered on the vehicle I actually bought. Let’s face it, money is usually a huge factor when buying a car and if you can save over $100 a month on a payment and all other factors are relatively the same, then the more affordable option usually wins!
PIN Car Buying Tips for Later
Overall the CarGurus website is an amazing online tool that should definitely be utilized prior to buying or selling a car. I mean, who doesn’t love a one-stop shop website that provides everything soup to nuts? Whether you are searching on your desktop, tablet or phone, the website is easy to use and very straight forward. Happy shopping and let me know what you end up buying if you are in the market for a new car!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by CarGurus. All opinions and words are 100% my own.