The resources below are just some of the professional resources for car shopping and research. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on a car, though, you need to find all the information you can on both the car you’re interested in as well as the competitors. Don’t go into the dealership unprepared, or else you may make a rash, uninformed decision.
Edmunds.com, purportedly “where smart car buyers start,” has a giant database of cars, including reviews, pricing, and specs. The site provides information on new and used cars, as well as advice on how to shop for and how to finance cars. Best of all, it can offer your searches tailored to your location!
Consumer Reports is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to rating consumer goods. Its website has a solid section on cars. Unfortunately, the most helpful offering – expert ratings – is available to subscribers only. But this site is still worth a look; there are many informative articles freely available.
Car Talk is a radio show about cars, but if you can’t catch the show, I highly recommend checking out the wealth of resources on their site. Look specifically at their “Actual Car Info” section for tips on buying, selling and more.
Car and Driver offers car news and brief online reviews of many makes and models. Best of all – no subscription necessary. If you don’t want to shell out the bucks for a Consumer Reports subscription, check here for a starting point on your car search.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has it’s own Car Buyer’s Guide. The guide is actually an extensive resource covering:
- Kiplinger’s rankings of new and used cars
- Tips on test-driving, negotiating, and getting car loans
- Information on mileage and features
Some of the articles have previously been published in the magazine or on the website, but now they reside with new content in one convenient location.
Bankrate.com has a section dedicated to auto loans. You can search for low rates, learn how to shop for the best loan, and read articles on making car ownership more economic.
Any other tips for research cars? I can also add forums dedicated to that car model, Cars.com, Motor Trend and more, as well as fellow blogs about cars. Ultimately, pick a car that fits your needs, driving style and budget.