Ways To Use Edmunds.com To Find Used Car Values

by Don Elliott on July 18, 2012

Automotive websites are beginning to look eerily familiar as the sites share search engines and car dealers improve their online marketing techniques.

Edmunds.com includes many similar features including search capabilities to find specific cars for sale, pricing information, car reviews, tips and advice on buying new and used cars and a forum for car related questions. Since its founding in 1966, this company has evolved from a pricing guidebook company to a preeminent resource for car buyers and those looking to sell a car, with as many or more features found at any of the car search sites.

At its core, Edmunds.com is still primarily a pricing guide. To get used car values, you are asked to enter your zip code, year, the year, make, model, mileage and equipment to get either a trade-in value, private party seller price, or dealer retail prices. Edmunds has trademarked the phrase “True Market Value” to refer to the results of a used car value search. As a bonus, they also calculate the value if it were a certified used vehicle.

Edmunds.com has also trademarked “True Cost to Own” or TCO. When shopping for a new or used car, Edmunds factors in the hidden costs associated with owning a car over a five-year period. Those factors include depreciation, interest on a car loan, taxes and fees, insurance premiums, fuel costs, maintenance, and repairs. With the TCO tool, it is possible to compare two cars side by side and determine that one car might be cheaper to buy initially but more expensive to own over time than the other car.

When shopping for a new or used car, there are often questions that, when answered by a car salesperson, may not seem trustworthy. Edmunds.com provides a section with tips and advice regarding the car buying process. Lease or buy? Effective negotiations? What about warranties? How much car can you afford? Safety ratings? Sell your car yourself or trade it in?

There is also a section devoted to car maintenance. Listed are the Manufacturer’s Recommended Maintenance Schedules and Recall and Technical Service Bulletin information for the car you own or the car that you are considering purchasing. Edmunds.com also provides a directory of automotive repair shops sorted by city, listed by distance from your zip code location. Service shops listings include a sales and service rating system, although it appears that only the biggest dealerships and service shops have gotten any rating attention.

Finally, Edmunds.com provides an inventory search function that makes it easy to search for specific new and used cars in your marketplace. Refine your search until you find the car you like. From the Edmunds.com website, you can review incentives and request a price quote from the dealer that has the car you have selected. Of course, there is no obligation to buy when you request a price quote, but you can be assured that a dealership representative will be in touch with you soon to help move you through your car buying process.

 

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