Using a Car Finder Tool to Get the Best Car


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Some people know exactly what they are looking for in their next vehicle. But for a lot of us, we only know our approximate budget and that we don’t want to have to drive very far to pick it up.

If that sounds like you, it may be advantageous to use a car finder tool the next time you’re thinking about buying a vehicle, because it is an efficient way to shop. It’s a powerful research tool that will set you on the right track and lower your stress levels as you begin the car buying process.

Advantages of Using A Car Finder Tool

Just like online shopping for anything else, a car finder tool will help you narrow down your search more quickly than doing so in-person, and you will have the added advantage of steering clear of pushy salespeople who try to direct you towards more expensive vehicles that aren’t on your radar.

You’ll also be able to easily compare models and exclude those who don’t have the features that you consider must-haves, by simply comparing the models online with all of the details at your fingertips–face value.

While you may not know precisely what you like just from looking online, it will certainly help you narrow your options a little bit and is a great place to start doing your research and figure out what you do and don’t like.

Helpful Features of Car Finder Tools

Car finder tools are in place to make the user’s life easier. Here are a few key features to aid in your search:

  • Narrow your options by price. This is arguably the most essential part of these tools, as it helps you remain in your spending limits. They keep you in the budget by making unaffordable models vanish as quickly as your dreams of buying them.
  • Compare side-by-side. Of course, you can technically do this at a dealership, but you will feel pressed for time and won’t be able to see all of the vehicle’s features listed in-person as quickly as you can in an online, side-by-side comparison table. Additionally, you can compare different cars rapidly (and without the intervention of a busy salesperson).
  • See the largest selection. The car market is quickly changing, and new models come out all the time. A car finder tool, unlike a dealership, will be able to show you all of your options, not just what your local dealership has in stock.

Popular Car Finder Tools

The National Automobile Dealers Association is a great place to start. The popular car review site Edmund’s also has its own car finder tool. You can also often google something like “cars for sale in [your town]” and use your search engine’s built-in shopping tools.

Things To Remember

Car shopping has a lot of components to it, but it’s important to keep these points top-of-mind:

  • Set your “musts” from the beginning. If you know you want an SUV, don’t let yourself get distracted by pickup trucks and sedans.
  • If you have a super firm budget, make sure you enter it as soon as you get to the site. You’ll only hurt yourself if you don’t enter your “musts” as search parameters from the very start.
  • Don’t narrow your options too much. You know you love Honda. Does that mean you should remove Hyundai? Avoid filtering by brand from the very beginning.
  • Keep an open mind. There are a lot of great manufacturers you may have never even heard of before searching. If you keep your options open, you might find yourself falling for something you never imagined that you would. Take some time to browse and then hone in on the best fit.
  • Get out there. This process must transition from the computer to the real world. Car finder tools are great places to start doing your research. But that doesn’t mean you should commit to a vehicle before you sit behind the wheel. Going to a dealership and taking the vehicle for a test drive is essential. You might find that during the process, certain things you didn’t even think of can make all the difference. Maybe you find the driver’s seat is uncomfortable even once you adjust it to fit you, or you find that your young kids can’t reach the cupholders with ease. While these are “small” things, they’ll make all of the difference in your day-to-day once you take the vehicle home. When you head to a dealership, make sure to test drive at least three cars before making a final decision.

Bottom Line

Keep your options open. Within reason, of course, it helps to head to the dealer with a few workable models in mind that you are considering buying. A knowledgable dealer might also be able to suggest similar vehicles in your price range that you hadn’t considered. Just make sure that you stick firm to your budget and any must-haves.