A New Age in Used Car Buying

For years consumers knew only one way to buy used car, through the newspaper. The landscape has dramatically changed over the last five years. The smart internet consumer has all the tools at their fingertips. Not only can you utilize the print media but you also can bring the two together. Searching for a used car should be simple. One company has it done right and has the most concentration of vehicles in one spot on the internet, AutoTrader.com.

AutoTrader.com, a parent company of Cox Communications has been showing people how to buy used vehicles the right way for 5+ years. When you get to the home page you have the ability to start to searching by utilizing a “Quick Search” or a “Power Search”. Quick search sends you directly to the “Find Your Car” page. Here you can pick make, model, year, and new, used, certified, price range, distance and your zip code. Very simple and easy to use.

Power Search gives you the ability to get more granular with your selection of a new, used or pre-own certified vehicle. You can pick body style, three different makes, price range, mileage, year range, zip, area of distance from your zip code, engine, drive, transmission, doors, fuel and color. Wow, it may sound a lot, but if you have a specific vehicle in mind AutoTrader can find this vehicle for you.

The next stop in the process is viewing your selection on AutoTraders “Search Results page”. This page will give you aggregate results of the vehicle you looking to view. It displays a vehicle picture, with a brief description of each vehicle and a vehicle identification number or vin number. The vin number will become an important part of your decisioning process because it will give you a history of the vehicle you’re considering. Once you decide on a vehicle just click on it and you’re on the way to an even better experience.

The “Vehicle Detail Page” is the mastermind of AutoTraders CEO, Chip Perry. Mr. Perry who work in the newspaper business developed this easy to understand ad on a vehicle by taking the elements of a good newspaper ad and exploding it to virtual car ad on steroids. The vehicle detail page will display the price, the year, make and model at the top of the page. It will give pictures, a way to get a loan on the car before you walk into the dealership and it will give you the history of the vehicle, for a fee, to help you make the right decision.

Consumers now have the ease of looking for a car right at their fingertips, but AutoTrader gives you everything you need to walk in the dealership, with a loan in hand, the vehicle history report on the car or truck and the ability to have an inspection on the car. The three issues that hold up a sale on a vehicle is the loan, the inspection and the vehicles history.

Let’s look at the loan process. It can be very tiresome when you in a dealership if you don’t have your financing with you. Consumers think dealers are bad, dealers are not bad, the process can be bad and this is what frustrates a consumer. Having your loan in place is the first rule of buying a used car. Not everyone going to qualify for 0% financing, so be smart get a loan check from Capital One, Lending Tree or another finance institution before you walk through the door of any dealership. Again, AutoTrader has made it very easy for you to do this by having button right under the ad to get your financing done.

Vehicle inspection, why? Why not, it’s not because where not a trusting soul, it’s because you want the security and comfort to know the previous owners took care of the car. If you’re going to invest five thousand or eighty thousand dollars on a vehicle, pay the average price of an inspection of $99.00 to $349.00. The car might look great, the dealer took care of it, but no one is perfect. Dealers do a great job of certifying cars and they’re great warranties to put comfort in your mind, just be smart, inspect it and feel good about your purchase.

The last portion of our experience at looking at used vehicles on AutoTrader is a vehicle history report, vin check or car history report (these are most widely used terms in the search engines). The vin number will tell you the history of a car. It will tell where the car was titled and registered. Had the basic emission inspection by the state. Was it a stolen car or a salvage car or worse in a flood. The vehicle history is important because you don’t want to buy a vehicle that has been involved in an accident and been declared a junk or salvage. This will not only effect your re-sale value it will effect how you feel about the car. Vehicle history reports are there to assist your decisioning process and make you feel good about your vehicle before you see in person and after you have purchased the vehicle. The great thing about vehicle history is the insurance policy, that’s right an insurance policy on the data that is provided on the report. If the data is wrong they will purchase the vehicle back and you will then not be stuck with a bad vehicle, now that’s insurance!

Shopping online for vehicle will make your experience of buying a car easier and less stressful. A great automotive site like AutoTrader will give the tools to make the right decision.

So sit back, enjoy the ride on the Internet freeway, you have the tools to a stressful free experience of buying a used car.


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