The options for buying a car have changed dramatically in recent years and now allow drivers to buy and finance a car, all from the convenience and comfort of home. But with so many options for buying virtual cars, it’s important to determine which application is best for you and what your research needs are.
Whether you’re comparing prices in the field or researching vehicles in your area at home, there’s an app to best guide you through the car buying process. Before hitting download, consider these top five apps for your needs.
Edmunds has served as a pillar in the auto buying world for over 50 years. It covers everything from car reviews to vehicle pricing information – and the app is no different. The app allows drivers to see available vehicles in their area side by side. You can also set specific parameters to target your search to the exact vehicle you need.
Best for comparing vehicles
Download Edmunds to discover what’s available in your area and which vehicles best suit your budget and driving needs.
2. Kelley Blue Book
Like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is a fantastic resource for vehicle reviews. The aim is to empower drivers through research, so that they get the best price for their vehicle. Kelley Blue Book contains both expert and consumer reviews. The app shows drivers the “fair market price” of their chosen vehicle based on the vehicle’s suggested retail price, current buyer transactions, and data collected from other sources.
Best for real-time pricing information
If you’re not sure if you’re getting the best deal on your vehicle, KBB can help you check prices. The app is a great starting point for vehicle negotiation and assurance that you’re getting the best deal.
Known for its auto vending machines, Carvana allows drivers to find, buy and receive their new set of wheels without ever leaving their home. This approach embraces the convenience of virtual shopping and is great if you are using or trading in your current vehicle. A big advantage when buying Carvana is the minimal costs. The fully online process saves you money on dealer commissions and hidden costs. It also has a seven-day test drive period.
The best for a fully virtual experience
If you’ve got your heart set on a vehicle, Carvana is a great option for purchasing your next set of wheels entirely online. Simply choose your car in the app and have it delivered directly to you. Carvana also offers vehicle financing for drivers, starting at 3.9 percent APR.
CarMax is made for stress-free car buying. The model is based on two major business areas: sales and finance. This makes the app a space to explore vehicles in your area based on aspects such as price, mileage, model and make. The app also allows you to apply for vehicle financing or view vehicle history reports.
Best for the nervous negotiator
The free app takes the headache out of one of the most stressful aspects of buying a car: the negotiation. The vehicle prices shown in the app are only those directly from CarMax dealers, so the price you see is what you pay.
The iSeeCars app and website allow users to search for used cars and find the best deals in your area. They have very specific filters – over 50 – available so you can search for your next vehicle based on parameters as specific as pulling power or payload. You can also set up price alerts so that the app will notify you when a vehicle you are interested in has a price drop.
Best to buy used
While most online apps allow you to explore used vehicles, the iSeeCars interface is built for in-depth research into used, certified pre-owned vehicles that meet your specific needs. The app also encourages drivers to take advantage of the free VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) report to review the history of used vehicles before making a purchase.
Once you’ve chosen your next set of wheels, take advantage of online resources to secure vehicle financing before purchasing a vehicle to get the best deal. And to stay safe when shopping online, check prices consistently and only buy from properly vetted sites.