While it’s often times very exciting to buy a new car or truck, it’s also somewhat stressful and can be a little bit of a hassle. Running from dealership salesman trying to hunt you down the moment you walk on the lot, to trying to make sure you get a good deal all while finding what’s best for you. The apps below are some of the best car buying apps for Android.
Car shopping is stressful and time-consuming, stressful for many that don’t know what they want or are afraid of overpaying, and generally can just be a bit daunting. Luckily for you guys there are plenty of Android apps to help make it a pleasant experience, and possibly save you money at the same time.
While apps like Carfax or dealers such as CarMax are great, you’ll have to spend money to get full reports and Carmax just wants to sell you a vehicle, any vehicle. Instead, we’ve gathered a list of six important apps you’ll want to download that are all designed to make the car shopping experience easier, not to mention a great tool to have while you’re on the lot, or talking with an independent seller.
Where to look when buying a new car or truck, how much should I be paying, is this a good deal, and can I get that in black? Those are all questions buyers may have, and the apps below are designed to answer all of those and much more.
Essential Car Buying Apps
The following six or so apps are all designed to improve the car-buying experience for shoppers. And while these are all Android apps, they’re also available on iOS for those with an iPhone. They make the process simple, tell you if you’re paying too much, compare similar cars sold in your area, and can even find out the value of the car you’re buying, or trading in.
Of course you’ll want to start doing research at home where you won’t feel pressured, or see something you like and make an impulse buy like I did with my Toyota Tacoma (which I love) so hit the apps below and get up to speed on everything you need to know before signing on the line that is dotted.
When you first start looking one of the first apps you’ll want to download is Cars.com. This is an extremely useful tool that will let you search by make and model, year, price, or even colors and features of new and used cars all in your area. The database is always up to date as well.
Once you use the app to search for what you want you can get side-by-side comparisons of different models, find dealers in your area that actually have what you want, and even read reviews all inside of the app. However, reviews have no images and are only text about any particular vehicle you’re looking for.
One of the best built-in tools is the car loan calculator. The app offers an easy to use tool to figure the monthly payment based on vehicle price, down payment, tax, interest rate and trade in. This is the best mobile car loan calculator available, and helps avoid playing games at a dealership with a 4-square sheet. You’ll also want to have Credit Karma, which we’ll go over below, to know what you’re getting into and if you even qualify.
A relatively new app for smartphones is TrueCar, and you’ve probably seen the ads on TV for their latest Android app. TrueCar is an invaluable tool you’ll want to download and have ready, especially when it comes time to walk onto a dealer lot. Just like any shopping experience, you’ll want the best deal possible. With car buying this is especially true as sadly there is always a dealer looking to sell you an overpriced car to make a fat commission. Sadly people get taken advantage of, but that won’t happen with TrueCar.
TrueCar finds cars or trucks sold in your region from a database of thousands of dealers. It will show you what others are asking, and what other buyers have paid for the exact same vehicle you want in your driveway. This way dealerships can’t charge you an arm and a leg. You’ll know what the price should be, and have more legroom to negotiate, and hopefully more legroom in the back of that 4-door you’re about to buy.
They also offer what is called “TrueCar Certified Dealers” that they trust not to overprice vehicles and try to ripoff buyers. According to TrueCar, this is guaranteed savings and the average TrueCar user saves around $3,221 off MSRP. That’s enough for a new stereo and some sweet new wheels. This app is a must have!
Cars.com will help you find the right type of car, TrueCar will make sure you don’t overpay, and Auto Trader will help you actually find it. They’ve been around forever, and you can search by year, make, model, price, trim, and more. Then select your region and find a dealership nearest to you. They’ve added in searching for private sellers. This is great for users looking for a used car without visiting a dealership.
The app offers a powerful advanced search screen with options for engine type, transmission, color, body style and other filters, to help narrow down the search. The App includes the ability to find a dealer and view the specific dealer’s inventory.
While on the lot, or checking out a used car for sale in a parking lot, open the app and scan the VIN on the windshield to see other cars like it for sale. This is a great way to compare real asking prices for cars nearby. Another neat way to try and save a few hundred, or a couple thousand dollars.
Users can sign in to AutoTrader to save searches and sign up for notifications when cars matching their desired type are put on the market. Wait for the best deal, and AutoTrader will tell you when it arrives.
Kelly Blue Book
Whether you’re looking for a car, or plan to trade yours in, you’ll want to know pricing and what everything is worth. Kelly Blue Book is the go to guide for car pricing and the best tool for figuring out what a fair price for a trade-in car is. While the app does offer new car information, like Edmunds, it is best and finding out how much your current car is worth. You put in all the information, and it tells you how much you can sell it for privately, or as a trade-in. Sadly dealers never quite match the trade-in price shown unless you do some stiff negotiating and took debate class in college.
Users can enter information about their current car and see the trade-in prices to look for at a dealer and how much to expect from a private sale. The app lets users choose options and see price changes based on the features their current car offers.
Don’t trade-in a used car without checking the price in the Kelly Blue Book Android App. Know what it’s worth before you even begin.
Another trusted name in car buying is Edmunds. If you’ve ever looked up a new car you’ve probably been to their site, and it’s loaded with information. All of that has been integrated into their Android app, so get it and have all the tools you need right at your fingertips. With the year, make, model and trim level the Edmunds app shows all the pricing info users need to make sure they get a great deal. When possible this uses real prices paid for similar vehicles in your location, similar to TrueCar.
For new cars, the app shows the Dealer Invoice and MSRP of the vehicle. The real number to pay attention to is the True Market Value, a value that reflects a fair price to pay for a new car. Users can add options to see what their dream car would cost and whet a fair price is.
The app also offers fast access to all incentives and rebates for new cars, inventory search, reviews, photos and videos as well as cost of ownership and safety ratings. All important information for those that like to do their research, especially when you’re buying a brand new Ford Raptor.
One of the most important aspects of buying a car these days is your credit score. This can be the difference between a $480 car payment, and one that is $350 a month. It’s extremely important, and you’ll want to have all your credit information available, and if it needs fixing, this app can help you with that too.
Credit Karma offers truly free credit scores from two of the major reporting agencies. It’s actually free, and you won’t have to put in a credit card number anywhere. It offers detailed breakdowns of everything, tips to improve your score, shows you what’s important to your score and more.
Read: Credit Karma Review
It lists everything out, shows you how to repair scores and pay of debts and much much more. In the end, if you have a good score you can go in knowing you have an advantage over most buyers, as you’ve probably seen from recent Credit Karma commercials all over TV. Monitor your score, know where to stand, and be comfortable walking into a dealership knowing what to expect.
The apps detailed above will help you know what to expect, find what you want, know what you’re going to pay, and even know if it’s something you can afford. Once you’ve used some of these apps, find the car that is right for you and walk in with your credit score ready, knowledge of pricing, and get what you want for the right price.
These are some of the best tools around, so use them at your disposal both at home and at the dealership to get exactly what you want.