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US Buying Guides
Want advice on how to buy a car? Check out these resources.
Some buying guides include data - such as reviews and safety test results - on older cars (not just this year's models). Bolded text saying "This buying guide includes information on both new and older cars" in a review indicates that the buying guide on the site contains information on both new and older cars.
|ConsumerReports.org: Wheeling & Dealing
|Auto Leasing Guide - The Art of the Deal
|cars.com: Car Shopping Advice
ConsumerReports.org: Wheeling & Dealing
This guide covers the car buying process (whether you're buying new or used) very well indeed. What at first appears to be a fairly short and basic guide is in fact quite extensive. Each major category has several sub-categories which then have even further subsections.
Excellent material with plenty of links to relevant and helpful websites. Calculators and spreadsheets in the final section and calculators sprinkled throughout the guide are a fabulous extra feature.
It is not possible to print individual sections or the entire document. Some material is only available to site subscribers but you can buy a single month's access for only $4.95 which may very well be worthwhile.
Auto Leasing Guide - The Art of the Deal
It's too bad that other sites that deal with car BUYING haven't done as good a job as this site has done with car leasing. This is an excellent resource if you are interested in leasing a vehicle instead of buying.
Very thorough guide with 14 sections with some helpful links within some articles. You can email pages to a friend.
No ability to print individual sections or the entire document.
cars.com: Car Shopping Advice
To get started click on the Shopping Advice tab. Although there isn't a single, comprehensive buying guide the large assortment of articles should give you some helpful tips.
Over fifty articles on a variety of aspects of buying a new or used car.
No single, comprehensive buyers' guide. Individual articles cannot be printed. Not a lot of links to other tools elsewhere on the cars.com site.
Consumer Guide | Auto - Expert Advice
This Expert Advice section offers a really good comprehensive guide to the buying process. There are 10 sections that cover a variety of topics and each is meaty, full of good information and long. Excellent information on safety, comparison of leasing and buying and a super glossary.
Long, helpful articles on a variety of topics. Individual pages can be printed or emailed.
It would be nice if all 10 articles could be printed at once. Articles could contain links to tools within the Consumer Guide site (for example the shopping tips section could link to help me choose tools).
Auto Buying Process, First Step, Buying Tips
Although this site is somewhat dated and tends to be a bit heavy on the links to outside sites that offer no particular benefit to the consumer (in other word sites that are trying to sell you something) it is still worth reviewing. It is quite extensive and has lots of interesting and helpful content.
Plenty of information for the new or used car shopper.
Rather too many external links for my liking. No ability to print individual sections or the entire document.
The Process of Buying a New Car
An excellent guide that is useful to buyers of either gender. It is quite extensive but somewhat confusing in that you move from one document to another without really noticing and it can be hard to find your way back to where you were originally.
Extensive document with helpful links to other articles and tools on the Woman Motorist site.
As mentioned above it is very easy to get 'lost' as clicking on links doesn't open new articles in a fresh window - you may not even realize that you have left the original article behind. The double-underlined, green links are distracting and not particularly helpful in most cases. There are no printing options for any of the articles.
NADA.org - National Automobile Dealers Association
This comprehensive guide is not that long but it covers the basics nicely.
This guide covers the important aspects of buying a car - figuring out what you can afford, how to shop, selecting the right vehicle etc. - on a single (long) page.
The guide doesn't go in to great depth and is not easily printable. There aren't links from within the article to other tools or articles on the NADA site or elsewhere.
New car prices, used car pricing, auto reviews by Edmund's car buying guide
Edmunds is another site without a 'buying guide' as such but by going to their Tips & Advice tab you'll find a series of articles that will help you through the buying process.
Great and interesting articles on a variety of topics - 10 steps to buying a new car, confessions of a car salesman, car shopping strategies blog. There is also an article keyword search box which can be helpful. The Smart Car Buyers Blog is EXCELLENT.
No overall buying guide and no ability to print individual pages. No links to tools on the Edmunds.com site (like their excellent comparison tool).
CarBuyingTips.com - New car buying guide
This somewhat over-the-top guide does have some helpful aspects. Ignore the plethora of links to other sites and the somewhat repetitive complaints and self-congratulatory hyperbole and concentrate on the practical advice and suggestions.
Helpful guide with some excellent advice for the Internet car shopper.
Visually busy pages with lots of links to other sites that are somewhat distracting and interrupt the information flow on the page. No ability to print individual chapters or the whole document.
Auto News and Advice - MSN Autos
This site doesn't feature a 'buying guide' as such but does have a selection of tools and articles that used together can be very helpful.
Use the Decision Guide (under the new cars link) to create a list of possible cars. At the link we've given you above you can find a lot of resource materials about fuel economy, hybrid tax credits, safety (airbags 101) etc - look for them throughout the page.
There is no overall, comprehensive guide available.
The Auto Channel's New Car Buyer's Guide
This comprehensive guide is highly slanted towards helping you choose the right vehicle rather than giving you advice on all aspects of buying a new or used car but it is still useful and helpful.
A number of articles and tools to help you choose the right vehicle for you from a variety of aspects - total operating costs, rebates and incentives, fuel economy and more.
Doesn't give any advice or guidance on the process of buying a car. None of the articles are printable.
Auto Shopping 101
Although this buyer's guide is not as long as some it covers the basics adequately.
Covers the basic of creating a profile for the vehicle that will fit your requirements.
Not very long, no links to tools elsewhere on the site and no way to print individual pages or the entire article.