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How to Buy a New Car Over the Internet 
 
by A. Wiseman May 26, 2005

Many people are looking to save big bucks when purchasing a new vehicle. The old method was to walk into a dealer’s showroom and try to negotiate a good deal with whatever salesperson you ran into. The new method is to contact the dealer over the Internet and determine what your best deal will be, before you step foot onto the lot.

So, you want a new car?

Start with the basics. What type of car is most suitable for your needs? This is the most important decision, because you’ll want to narrow down the search between several manufacturer’s models of the same type of car.

Old Method: Get into your jalopy and drive over to “Car Dealer’s Row” in your local area. Pull into the first place you come to and walk around the parking lot looking at their automotive selection, until a salesperson approaches and asks, “Looking for a particular car?”

New Method: Get behind your computer screen and click over to the manufacturer’s websites. Explore their cars from every angle, including comparisons with other makes.

You can even print out complete brochures, with all the specs, right there in the comfort of your living room (or from your desk at work, during lunch break). No pressure, no hassle.

OK, let’s say you’ve decided that a minivan is what you want. It has all the features your growing family is going to require for years to come. But, which minivan is the right one for you?

Compare and Contrast

While the manufacturers provide you with extensive and glowing details, they have an interest in selling you their car, obviously. Their details are written by marketing guys. Wouldn’t it be great to know what other buyers like you feel about many competing vehicles? No problem, the Internet is right there to help.

Old Method: Ask your neighbors and co-workers and relatives who had prior year’s models of that car. It would be rare to actually know someone who had just recently bought the same exact auto you are considering.

New Method: Read the remarks posted in discussions and on various “car buying service” websites (such as Edmunds.com) by owners of this year’s model automobiles. You can get a feel of their reactions of past years, too, and see how they have liked the manufacturer over time – (important when it comes time to sell or trade in the future). You can take advantage of the Internet to gain insight from experts and independent reviewers, as to their recommendations and reasoning why one car is preferable to another or why you would not want to own a certain model.

In our example of a minivan, you can immediately see that a few models rise above the pack, and they are the most shopped-for vehicles nationwide. However, you are unique, you have your own style. What is best for “Joe Average” won’t necessarily be right for you.

Naturally, that computer on the desk can’t offer this individualistic sensory input. So, you have to see the actual cars for yourself, to sit in them, and test-drive them.

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