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The internet has revolutionized the way we shop and there may be no greater benefit to consumers than online tools available for car shopping. There was a time when you had to choose between spend countless hours traveling from dealership to dealership to find the perfect car at the right price, or you had to save yourself the time and energy and just settle for what a single dealer had available. Now, it's possible to research thousands of cars, compare prices, specs, features and options and even qualify for financing right from your own home. Here are three great tools to help you find the perfect automobile for you.
1. Pricing Tools
Online tools like the NADA guide or Kelly Blue Book will help you figure out what your car is worth if you sell it privately, what you can expect to receive for it if you trade it in at a dealerships as well as what you should expect to pay for the car you are looking for. Remember that you will pay more for a car if you buy it through a dealership, but doing some research in advance will help you determine if the price being quoted is genuinely a fair price or not.
2. Car Finders
With literally millions of cars in North America to choose from, car buyers are no longer limited to just what a local dealer has in stock. Car finding services like AK Car Finder can help you research cars all over your state or even all over the country. This allows you to find exactly the car you are looking for at a price that is right for you.
3. Private Sales
Any time you buy a car through a dealership, you will get about $2,000 less on a trade-in than you car is worth and pay about $2,000 more than the car you are buying is worth, because you are paying the dealer to do the work of selling your car, as well as the work of finding the car you are buying. If you are buying a $30,000 or more car, then this $2,000 - $4,000 gap is not such a big deal, but if you are trading in a car that's only worth about $4,000 and buying a $10,000 or less car, then that gap become significant. One way to avoid this is to sell your car privately and/ or buy a car privately. Car auctions and sites like Craigslist and Auto Trader are great for these kinds of transaction.
With so many online tools available, there has never been a time when it has been easier or more painless to buy a new car or sell an old one. Taking the time to do some research before buying or selling a car can save you significant time, hassle and even money.