I blogged a few weeks ago about my family's debate over buying a new truck - one with 4-wheel drive to get us through the rough Chicago winters.
Well, we bit the bullet, and did it, December 26th. Here it is:
It's a 2005 Certified Used Ford F-150 FX4 CrewCab, and we couldn't be happier. It took a lot of research, but we got a great deal, and REALLY good financing from Ford Motor Credit.
I wanted to share some kudos and some razzies to the different websites and experiences we had while we researched what to buy. We did hours of research online before we ever left the house, and it paid off in the end.
- Autotrader. A great site to research both new, used, and certified used vehicles from dealers and private parties. It's easy to use, allows for a lot of search options to narrow down the search, and great speed and flexibility - I could research cars and email them to Tom or save them on a list to review later.
- Chevrolet. True, we didn't buy a Chevy, but we did research both new and used trucks. Chevy's website lets you search local dealer inventory, view the window sticker, and get their red tag pricing right on the corporate site, without having to enter all your contact information first. The last thing we wanted was a lot of phone calls.
- CarMax. Another great site to research the cars on all the CarMax lots in the country, that has flexible search criteria, lets you search for new, used, or both, and shows you the cars you're interested in with good pictures and lots of detail.
- Cars.com. SLOW. Have to search for new and used and certified used cars separate. I got frustrated with this site and gave up.
- Several local dealership sites. They loved to send me email - I couldn't see inventory without entering my email - but one put us on hold for over five minutes on the three times we called (we hung up), or another, when we got through, said they'd call us "right back" - and we're still waiting, days later.
It's definitely a good time to buy a car, if you're considering it. And now that GMAC has gotten a bailout, credit should be freeing up a bit for GM vehicles. Happy hunting.