What Online Tools Will Help Me Buy A Car?

May 11, 2009

in Internet

by David Hakala

Buying a car is exciting, traumatic, tedious, tempting. It’s also easier than ever before thanks to the many tools available on the Web. You can find the car of your dreams; make sure it isn’t a nightmare; learn what it’s really worth; and even insure it all online. is a popular place to offer and buy cars. It’s free, so many private sellers use it, as do dealers. Craigslist’s search options include keywords (e. g., 1999 Dakota Crew Cab); minimum and maximum prices; sale by owner, dealer, or both; and ads with and without images. Craigslist is subdivided into local communities so searching for a car over a wide distance is difficult.

eBay Motors is a car and parts marketplace on You can search by keywords; by year, make, and model; by price range; and by distance from a Zip Code. Financing is available through eBay partners. You can even click a button on an ad to get a quote from an auto transport company that will bring a long-distance car to you. Click another button for airfares so you can go get the car. (wonder what they paid for that domain name!) offers new and used cars. Start by selecting the make, model, maximum price, and distance from your Zip code. Many local newspapers partner with for their online car sales ads.

You may see the name in online car ads. Carfax is a service that reports the ownership and known maintenance history of any vehicle given its VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). It can tell you the official history of a car such as its past owners and whether it was involved in a major insurance claim. Carfax is not aware of everything that may have happened to a car “off the record,” but for $29.95 it may be a good investment.

The Kelley Blue Book site is invaluable for estimating what a car is really worth. You can specify a car by make, model, year, and option package; add or subtract options; and get three ranges of values for fair, good, and excellent condition. KBB maintains reported prices for private sales and dealers’ asking prices. Dealers’ asking prices are only starting points, always higher than the actual sale price. Private sales data are pretty good guides to what a car is worth.

David Hakala has perpetrated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at

{ 1 comment }

Review Toyota 09.03.14 at 1:05 am

I’m no longeг positіve the placе you’ге getting уouг information, but
good topiс. I needs to spend a whіle studying much morе
or unԁеrstandіng morе. Thаnκs fοr magnificent info I
waѕ in search οf this ijfo for mmy missіon.

Comments on this entry are closed.