Ladies, let’s face it. Car buying sucks. It’s exciting, of course– having a shiny new toy to drive around town friday nights, to pick up the girls from work saying– must I quote Mean Girls?– “Get in loser, we’re going shopping.” But until we get to that point, loads of research needs to be done. And when I say loads, I mean LOADS. How are we to make such a huge financial decision without thorough review, without thinking about the decision backwards and forwards six times over, without consulting every car magazine we can get our hands on? Research behind a hefty financial investment like a new car requires the buyer to choose between an endless list of options. Price or safety? Safety or energy efficiency? How energy efficient? Navigation system? Entertainment system? Seat upholstery? Most importantly; red or white?
Luckily we have a couple of resources available for us to consult should we require extra assistance. On one hand we have in-person dealerships and showrooms, while on the other hand we have online automotive databases. There are definite perks to both options– yet there are also a number of drawbacks for each. Let’s review our options.
SHOWROOM/ DEALER’S LOT
- in-person review of potential automotive options.
- on-call assistance readily available should you have any questions or concerns.
- wide variety of makes and models.
- allows room for price negotiation.
- dealer’s primary focus revolves around capital gain.
- Dealers are also very likely to conceal pertinent information on a car’s defects to be able to sell it at a higher value. Oftentimes automotive inadequacies aren’t physically visible outside the hood of a car, so a buyer would be completely oblivious to money going down the train in the near future due to their car requiring frequent and expensive repair.
ONLINE AUTOMOTIVE DATABASE
- allows a buyer to review the makes and models of cars from all over the world, granting a buyer an immense bank of vehicles to choose from.
- Online dealerships also work around the clock; doors never close online, so a review of your proponents can be done anytime of day, anytime of week, month, or year, 24/7.
- You have easier access to auto comparisons since all relevant information on a car is presented to you right before your eyes on a screen, so side-by-side comparisons become possible with the simple click of a button.
- Online car dealerships also ensure a buyer will not succumb to the pressure of sales tactics that often coerce customers into making a purchase that breaks the bank for a vehicle that does not meet their specific needs.
- The most obvious issue is the simple fact that you are online; many buyers prefer to have hands-on time with a vehicle before making a finalized decision.
- although pictures can give a buyer a general idea of the car’s aesthetics, they are not always fully sufficient. No test drive can be made, the buyer cannot climb into the driver’s seat of the car, smell the seat upholstery or give the tires a kick before making a final decision.
- No price negotiations.
I know what you’re thinking: sure, there are plenty of pros to using either one of these two options to help me decide what car to decide on. But the cons list is too hefty to trust either of the two options, so I’m skeptical.
I’d be a little skeptical, too.
Fortunately Cars.com exists so that we have the option to seek local optoins, but also can review vehicles from all over the world in case I’m not too fond of anything in my area. It has an optoin to run side-by-side comparisons of different cars so that I can very easily weigh between my potential options. Plus it’s online so I won’t have to deal with any sleazy car dealers who are trying to rip me off or con me into spending too much money on a car that secretly is falling apart. Cars.com acts a sufficient resource to refer to throughout your search for your next vehicle that comes with no pressure to make a purchase you were coerced into, gives you accurate information on the pros and cons of your potential options, allows users the option to decide between detailed side-by-side comparisons, provides multiple outlets for car buying advice depending on your individual needs, and can refer you to local dealerships that sell your dream car.