Step 9: Consider Your Buying Options

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Moving from your seat in front of the computer screen to the seat behind the wheel of your next new car is the most exciting part of the buying experience. By this time you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few vehicles that are right for you and have set goals for negotiating price, monthly payment, trade-in and finance options. You can now get ready to negotiate and purchase your next new vehicle with confidence.

The traditional way of picking a dealer has evolved. Today, there are many options to approaching the retail car purchase. If you have a good relationship with a trusted local dealer that offers the brand you’re looking for, you have a great place to start. If not, online dealer locators can help. These convenient internet tools come in many different types and are available on

Direct Buying Sites
If you prefer to purchase your next vehicle from a direct buying site, these online companies will work with you as brokers and complete the entire transaction with the dealer — all the way to delivering the car to your front door.

Dealer-Referral Buying Sites
If you want to do business with internet-friendly dealerships, a dealer referral site is a smart way to go. This type of site works with dealers who are committed to their internet-based customers, know how to respond quickly and are willing to negotiate via email. The first thing you’ll be asked to do is fill out a Purchase Request, which implies that you are seriously considering the purchase of a particular vehicle. This does not in any way obligate you to purchase, but is a tool that gives the dealer enough information to give you a good quote in return. Within 24 hours of filling out your request, a dealer should email you with the quote you need or contact you by phone.

Manufacturer’s Sites
You can’t buy direct from a manufacturer, but if you visit the manufacturer’s site it will typically have a unique dealer referral service that will automatically put you in contact with dealers in your area. For your convenience, most manufacturers have links to their web sites via’s Free Price Quote tool. Some manufacturers have loyalty programs and other special promotional offers to customers who register directly through their sites as well. The incentive section of gives you the latest manufacturer’s incentives, including low finance rates, zero-percent financing and customer cash.

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