(Family Features) Securing a good price on a new car purchase can be a long and confusing experience. Fortunately, the prevalence of smartphones has enabled car buyers to quickly arm themselves with the information they need to get a great deal without wasting a lot of time.
Apps and the ability to text make it easy to do most of the car shopping experience at your convenience, with tons of information and access at your fingertips whether you’re home, at the dealership or on the go.
Indeed, mobile usage among car buyers is on the rise. Car shopping website Edmunds.com saw a 39 percent bump in mobile usage from 2013 to 2014, with a significant number of shoppers accessing the site’s shopping tips, reviews and calculators while on the dealer’s lot.
“Mobile is increasingly the tool of choice for car shoppers. At present, mobile makes up 36 percent of all Edmunds.com traffic,” says Seth Berkowitz, president of Edmunds.com. “We are paying close attention to shoppers, and we’ve found that the task done most often on the dealer lot is looking up pricing and using calculators in order to answer the question, ‘Is this a good deal?’”
To help ensure you’re getting the best deal on your new car purchase, rely on these tips from the experts at Edmunds.com:
Use your phone (or other Internet-enabled device) to check out online reviews of both cars and dealerships. Then, research dealership inventory to make sure that you’re heading to a showroom that has the car that you want to buy. The best apps allow you to sort current inventory by price and distance and see which vehicles are actually sitting on the dealer’s lot.
Look for specialty apps that go beyond research to help you actually secure a final sale price, such as Edmunds.com’s Lot Buddy. The free app enables car shoppers who step onto a dealer’s lot to instantly unlock Price Promiseno-haggle offers for actual cars being sold there. Among the many other useful tools and services available through this popular app: your car research and calculator results are stored for later use.
Car shoppers typically have a lot of questions. Edmunds.com’s free Live Help line allows car shoppers to get information and advice directly from car experts via phone, email, text (to ED411), social media and app.
Want to use your smartphone to communicate with your salesperson on your own terms? Many dealers employ the Edmunds’ CarCode service which allows customers to text salespeople to get pictures, pricing, trade-in estimates and other dealership information. Such tools allow for increased privacy and consumer control of the shopping process. To discontinue the exchange, the customer simply replies STOP to the text exchange.
Not sure if the “deal” you’ve been offered will fit your budget? With the variety of calculators available on car shopping sites and apps, you can quickly run the numbers and calculate monthly payments, as well as variables such as your interest rate and loan duration.
Using your smartphone makes you a more prepared buyer, saving you time and money at the dealership.
For more car buying tips and to access the new Lot Buddy app, visit http://apps.edmunds.com/lotbuddy.
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