"Used Car Buying Help From The Internet. "

By Sandra Kinsler

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The Internet provides an amazing array of free and low-cost automotive information. The Web is chock full of sites to find used-car buying information, view cars for sale, investigate their crashworthiness, their features and actually make a purchase. Much of what is available is useful and accurate though there are many poor quality web sites that load slowly, are poorly written, were organized by someone in a coma, provide inaccurate data and some are just plain "UGLY." This Guide provides the best of the best to support the used-car shopping process -- not all of them are pretty, but they are all good.

Nowhere else on earth can more superior information be obtained. What has occurred on the Web in the way of automotive information provision is overtaking the print marketplace for quality and extent of content. With very few exceptions, all the great car and truck buying information is available on the Web. AutoTrader is here with data from a wide array of reliable sources. Consumer Reports is here, the Pace Guides are here at CarPrices.com, Kelley Blue Book is here -- and on and on.

The data here is organized by major subject category. For example, the MONEY section lists places to find interest rates, apply for a loan or lease, find banks, and obtain credit ratings. Use this article as if it were a bloodhound. Allow it to lead to information you require. Refer to it as often as needed and print out what you find to take along when the shopping starts. These sites will lead to others and it is easy to get lost in the maze of automotive material available. Just come back here to get reoriented. We'll put you back on the trail of hot information.

Note: In case you find a broken link here, please let us know . Sometimes the sites we list do tricky things like changing their URLs or file names and leave us hanging.


Check a Credit Rating

  • TRW [http://www.experian.com]: Order your report online.
  • Trans Union [http://www.transunion.com]: Order your report online.
  • Equifax [http://www.equifax.com]: Order your report online.
  • My Credit [http://www.mycreditfile.com/prod.html]: For $9.95 order a report from all 3 of the credit reporting services listed above.

Determining What I Can Afford to Spend on A Car

  • AutoTrader Affordability Calculator Helps determine what monthly payment is affordable.
  • AutoTrader Loan and Cost Calculator Helps determine how much money to put down on a vehicle.
  • LeaseWizard [http://www.leasesource.com]: Figures leases, loans, lease vs. buy, cash back vs.low APR, early termination costs and more. LeaseWizard?ets the whole job done by automatically figuring taxes and printing easy-to-read reports comparing loans and leases with recommendations on executing the best deal possible.

Auto Loan Rates

  • Bank Rate Monitor [http://www.bankrate.com/brm/rate/auto_home.asp?web=brm]: Gives car loan rates nationally and by state.
  • Open the phone book and call local banks and credit unions to find actual rates in your area.


Sandra Kinsler

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