Our phones go with us wherever we go, and we use them for almost everything, from research to directions to games, but did you know that they also come in handy when you go car shopping? Technology continues to evolve, and thanks to our phones, information is easy to access, whether you get it before you head to the dealership or while you are there. Here are some of the savviest ways to use your smartphone when you buy a car.
Look at Reviews
Before you go to the dealership, you can use your phone to look up reviews for specific vehicles. Read what other drivers had to say about the car and find out what they did and did not like. Check several vehicles and a few reviews to get some different perspectives. You can also use your phone to look up reviews that were written by experts. These will give you details about the car and its features so you can decide what to look at once you get to the dealership. Or, you can wait until you get to the lot and check into something there that you like.
Your phone comes in very handy when you see a vehicle you like, but you don’t know what the car payment will be. You can quickly bring up a payment calculator and plug in the information about the vehicle, the interest rate, and the duration of the loan to get a good idea of what you might expect to pay.
Find Out a Vehicle’s History
There are several apps you can use to find out the history of a car. This is important information to have when buying a used vehicle. You can find out if it was ever in an accident, and you can also find out how many different owners it has had. AAA and other companies have apps you can use to check the VIN for a history, find out the safety ratings, and look at reviews.
Look Into Financing
You can also use your phone to get preapproved for a loan. Many banks and credit unions have online applications, and you can even look up the dealership website to find out if they have an online application too. Once you get a preapproval, you’ll have a better idea of what you can look at, and since you are already on the dealership site or app, you can take a look at the inventory to see what they have in your price range.
Your phone makes it easy to compare prices. You can look up a few different dealers to find out what they have and compare their prices. Once you have the details, you can use it to negotiate at your favorite dealership. The more information you have, the better off you are when it comes to getting the best deal.
There are many useful and savvy ways to use your smartphone when shopping for a car, but remember, it is not a substitute for a good salesperson at the dealership who will help you through the car buying process.
Image via Flickr by d3ims, used under CC BY 2.0