Online Car Shopping Dos and Don’ts

Shopping for products online is a standard practice in today's "connected" world. Car shopping is no exception. But before you just click on that first search link and start getting prices, you should know what you're getting into.

Don't think there's no cost

Most car shopping websites offer some kind of quoting service. Some of them say they're the one to use for getting the lowest price or knowing exactly what you should pay for the vehicle you want. We won't mention any names here, but industry experts have researched this thoroughly. We now know that some websites do find low prices but they also add several hundreds of dollars to the cost of the car by charging the dealership a commission fee or passing costs through the dealership in another way.

Even if you don't have to pay for your quote or search, the dealership may be passing costs onto you when you settle the deal. It's up to you to determine how to get the best deal without incurring unnecessarily high costs.

Do understand that the market is constantly changing

There could be two identical cars on a dealership lot and their sale price could be thousands of dollars apart within the same week or even day. Any "market price" information you find is on average and should not be accepted as "precise."

Do Shop Online

While simply visiting the dealership right away is usually what we do, it's a good idea to shop around online before you indicate, to a salesperson, that you're interested in anything. The idea is to get information that will help you make an acceptable deal. Here at, you can get all of the following:

  • Quotes from competing dealers near you, which you can compare and then use to negotiate.
  • Invoice pricing, which can help you set a target purchase price.
  • Incentive promotions you may not find anywhere else.

It's all for free and assumes no obligation on your part.

Click here to request free quotes. It take a few minutes.