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Online Consumer Guide Auto Directory - HowStuffWorks’ Auto Consumer Guide, Edmunds Car Advice, Consumer Reports, Kelley Blue Book

buying you’ll site issues

Are you looking for a new (or “new to you”) car, but aren’t quite sure about the makes, models, or styles that will meet your needs? Or perhaps you have a model in mind, but you just want to do your homework beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises. (“Many of so-and-so’s car models from 2005 have issues with major oil leakage” – not something you want to find out after you buy!)

It always pays to do your homework, especially with a big purchase like this. There are a bevy of handy sites out there that make it easy to research your new car. We have assembled a list of some of the most popular online resources that can arm you with vital information. With the right information in hand, you’ll be ready to head down to the dealer, private seller, or auction house with confidence.

HowStuffWorks’ Auto Consumer Guide

First up is the Auto Consumer Guide at HowStuffWorks.com. You might be surprised to see it, but they have devoted a specially-designed section of their site to all things auto, with a main emphasis on consumer issues. Here you can find helpful articles on new and used cars, encompassing every topic that a car-buyer might need. Not sure about where to start? Look over their buying guides to get a good idea of the bigger picture. There they look in-depth at every vehicle class from compact to luxury, not to mention special sections devoted to hybrid and electric vehicles.

And what about actually finding the new car? Just check out the classifieds section to see listings in your area. And after you’ve found your dream car, you may need to think about financing, and you definitely will need to think about insurance. You’ll find helps for both of these on the site as well.

Long story short, you’ll find a lot of handy tools on HowStuffWorks’ Auto Consumer Guide, which make it a great place to start your search.

Edmunds Car Advice

For much more focused help on specific car-buying issues, Edmunds is the place to go. They provide a large database of articles that are regularly updated with current issues, such as “Confessions of a Car Salesman” and “The New Luxury of Compact Cars”. You will also find basic car-buying helps like the “Quick Guide to Buying a New Car” and “10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You”. Edmunds has long been a trusted resource for car buyers around the world, and they can help you in your car-buying quest as well.

Consumer Reports

Of course, no auto guide list would be complete without a mention of Consumer Reports, who makes it their mission to subject all kinds of consumer products to rigorous lab tests, and then report their findings to the world. Cars are no exception to this – Consumer Reports puts every make and model they can get their hands on to the test, and the resulting information is amazingly in-depth and specific. The only drawback here is that the majority of Consumer Reports’ content is not free. In order to access it, you must first sign up for a paid membership with the site. However, the fee is typically only about $26 per year or $6 per month, and it grants you access to every report they put out. For many, this is a reasonable price to pay for such a volume of objective reporting.

Kelley Blue Book

Lastly, we look at Kelley Blue Book, which is a widely recognized tool for car valuations. Use their site to get free quotes for every single car that you are thinking of purchasing. This will come in especially handy for used car buyers, because it sets a reasonable standard in a market that is often tricky to navigate. Blue Book takes the car’s mileage, accessories, and general condition all into account when calculating its quotes, so you can get a good idea of the car’s price window. This can be a great negotiating tool for dealers or private sellers that have unrealistic expectations of their car’s value, too.

That’s it for this guide to the top online auto consumer resources. Use these sites to take much of the stress out of the car-buying experience. You’d be amazed at the difference a little forethought and study can make in your confidence and negotiating ability. You’ll be glad you took the time to prepare, and your pocketbook will thank you too!

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