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Q: How Do I Use the Internet to Shop For My Next Vehicle?

Posted August 01, 2012 in Advice Column, Urbandale

A: The Internet is a wonderful tool for researching your next vehicle purchase. It gives you the ability to search for multiple models and equipment levels from the convenience of your home or office. Manufacturer’s websites, popular vehicle websites, and vehicle history websites (Auto Check/Carfax) all contain archives of information on previous model years, vehicle specifications, colors, options, prices and reviews. You literally have the ability to shop nationwide for your ideal auto.

However, keep in mind that at some point you most likely will want to visit a dealership and inspect and test drive the vehicle before finalizing your purchase. This step is critical as many times this is one of the most expensive purchases any individual might make. You should never rely solely on Internet pictures and condition descriptions to determine your ultimate decision.

Be cautious using the Internet. Fraud abounds regardless of how much you research. Cases are documented where people have traveled a great distance only to be disappointed in the overall condition and authenticity of their targeted purchase, going home empty handed. Given these current economic challenges, travel and personal time need to be factored into the expense of the entire purchase costs.

Our recommendation would be to do your research and model selection online. Then target a radius closest to home thus keeping your procurement expenses to a minimum as well as supporting the local economy.

Information provided by Tab Miller and Mona Lillard, Preowned Solutions, 11010 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, 515-528-8100.

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