How to find the right vehicle?

There are many ways to find the right vehicle. Traditional car dealerships are always an attractive option. Dealerships have many benefits. You can physically see the vehicle and test-drive it. But in addition to the dealerships, the internet has emerged as a reliable resource for finding a new or used vehicle. There are millions of vehicles available on the internet to choose from and thousands of online web pages have a variety of reviews and content written about almost every model you could think of.

Therefore, before you go out to the market to find the vehicle, it is better to do some research on the internet. This will help you narrow down the vehicles of your choice. When you are shopping for a vehicle, follow these three steps:

Step 1: Know your drive

There is an endless directory of websites online that offer information about various vehicles. But only the most popular websites write on the most important issues. When you are out to learn about your vehicle, do not only focus on reading reviews. Visit different chat rooms, forums, and actual customer experiences.

The problem with the reviews is that sometimes reviewers are not always the owners of the vehicle. So they might not be able to share the same ownership issues that an actual owner would. Another consideration in determining the vehicle is the vehicles with favorable gas mileage, dependability, and top safety features. Considering them reduces the non-lease cost of your vehicle.

Step 2: Where to find the true market price of the vehicle

The invoice on the cars provides you a benchmark for negotiations. Invoice price is a value that represents the dealership’s cost for a new car before considering other costs that are associated with manufacturing to dealership chain. The true market value is the price of a new car according to the current market conditions in your area. The terms "blue book price", "dealer wholesale", "trade-in value", "True Market Price", or "True Market Value" are all the same. These terms refer to the pricing that you can expect to receive in your particular market. There are several resources to determine this price. Besides consulting your local market, you can consult some popular websites to get a reliable price quote. Here are some important sources where you can find tur market value.

1. Online sources

Determining a vehicle’s worth can be accomplished easily by using a reputable online source. Here are a few good online sources:

a) Kelley’s Blue Book:

Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) is one of the automotive industry’s most-trusted vehicle appraisal tools. It provides the new and used car buyers and sellers the fairest values of their vehicle. KBB is a reputable resource for automotive research and vehicle valuation. You not only find the blue book price of a car but also the reviews of the latest models to hit the market. KBB uses nationwide surveys on vehicle sales to calculate market value. This website will give you data for retail value, trade-in value, and private party pricing of a vehicle.

You can visit their website and choose to price a new car. Enter the vehicle’s specific make, model and year. Choose the vehicle style e.g. Hybrid or Titanium. After these selections, KBB will give you a Fair Market Range including its MSRP, Factory Invoice, and Fair Purchase Price for that vehicle in your area.

b) eBay Motors

eBay is also a handy way to research used vehicle pricing. But to benefit from it, you will first have to learn how this auction site works. The prices of the vehicles that are usually available on the eBay may reflect the “current bid”, and not necessarily the final price. Therefore, it is helpful to find the current market value of the vehicle by searching through the recently closed listings. eBay represents one of the largest real-time marketplaces for used vehicle sales. Especially if a vehicle is witnessing the change in value, you will see this reflected in the price on current vehicles.

But eBay pricing only applies to the specific seller at that particular moment, unlike Blue Book Pricing that gives you a stable market price for everyone. You may see a vehicle eBay that sells for $700 below what you have seen the value elsewhere. But it could either be a distressed sale or an unusually low one. So the bottom line about eBay pricing is that it represents the current and actual market price of a vehicle.

c) National Auto Dealers Association (NADA)

NADA is the yellow book known for a wide variety of pricing guides for all kinds of vehicles. You can search for used cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, motorcycles and many other. NADA Car Guide publishes different value types that represent values through different sales channels. They also give retail values, trade-in values, and loan values of different vehicles. NADA has an extensive vehicle evaluation process based on market data, economic factors, and employment figures. NADA Guides also gives us an idea about the future of the auto market.

d) Manufacturers’ Sites

Each manufacturer also keeps an extensive collection of information on its most recent models as well as different special offers and financial programs that it may be offering to the people. Manufacturers offer special financing programs to sell more cars and attract more customers. These programs are not only financially helpful but they also increase the market value of the company. So it is always beneficial to visit official sites of the manufacturers for any special financial offer.

2. Dealer Sources

Dealers are also a valuable source of information about the car values. Car dealers are always researching data in order to price vehicles accurately. They are accurate market information about the pricing of similar vehicles at other local dealers, trade-in values, and loan values. Following are the resources commonly used by the dealers to get data related to the car value:

e) Black Book

Black Book is known in the automotive industry for providing independent and accurate vehicle pricing information. This is available to the industry qualifies users through online subscriptions, licensing agreements, and mobile applications. Black Book offers critical information to the customers. Black Book is a subscription-based service that tracks trade-in values for a wide range of used vehicles.

3. Bank Estimates

Banks are another useful resource for finding the vehicle price. Banks use different methods and sources to appraise a vehicle’s value. Local banks provide different estimates that help you determine the loan rate which is a good indicator of the current market value of the vehicle. Banks also provide the wholesale values of the vehicles that dealers pay for cars. The quotes on wholesale value are based on the vehicle condition. Banks also give the residual value of the vehicles.

Step 3: Finding the vehicle

Now that you have done your research about the type of vehicle you are looking for and you have thoroughly searched for the price of that vehicle that you want to drive, the next step would be to find that vehicle itself. There are many places and online platforms where you can find the vehicle. Typically, there are two most common ways you can buy a vehicle i.e. either through a dealership or an individual.

There are so many options available to choose from, so we will focus on the largest directories that offer the most varieties for selection.

General Vehicles Classifieds for New and Used Vehicles

  • Autobytel
  • Yahoo! Motors

Lease Assumptions


Vehicle Auctions

  • eBay Motors

Luxury and Exotic Vehicles

  • DuPont Registry

Manufacturer References

Most of the auto manufacturing companies have their own affiliated dealers who often link to the existing inventory. This is very helpful when considering a new vehicle because inventory is most of the times brand new.

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