9 Best Car Buying Apps
Educate yourself and simplify the car buying process with these industry-leading free car buying apps.
Buying a car can be exciting, but it's rarely a fun process. From researching your choices and deciding on the best options to chasing down the right vehicle and negotiating a final price, there's a lot of legwork that needs to happen before you can drive off in your new ride.
Luckily, modern technology has a lot to offer the harried car buyer. With just your smartphone, you can download powerful applications that will help you research, configure, locate, price out and eventually buy the car of your dreams.
Here are some of the best free car-buying apps on the market.
1. Kelley Blue Book
No app provides as much basic pricing information as the Kelley Blue Book® app. With this app you can access real-time blue book pricing information on any vehicle. Use it at home or at the dealership to immediately input all the data of the particular vehicle you are looking at and get a ballpark estimate on price, or at least what an excellently cared-for option would cost. Car buyers will also appreciate the vehicle reviews, as well as buyer incentive information.
The Edmunds® app provides several search tools for finding the right vehicle at the best price. Its true market pricing tool can help you establish relative price points, and its car buying calculator app is one of the best available. Along with vehicle reviews, this app allows you to search cars, text dealers, compare prices of similar vehicles, calculate your monthly payments on a vehicle loan, and save searches and research information for later. With an inventory of millions of used and new cars, dealer reviews, in-depth photo galleries and, pricing and trade-in tools, there’s something for everyone to like.
Although the CARFAX® application does a lot of things, the vehicle history reports might be the most valuable. With this app you can get a free vehicle history report with every car listed for sale on their app. You can also run vehicle history reports for cars not listed on their site, and this could potentially save you from buying a vehicle with repairs you didn't know about.
4. Credit Karma
Buying a car can put a strain on your finances, and a sub-par credit score can cost you thousands of dollars due to higher interest rates, not to mention potentially make it hard to find a loan. The Credit KarmaTM app is a free tool that'll help you understand your credit score before applying for a car loan. This tool provides you with free weekly credit scores, crediting monitoring, help improving your credit with personalized recommendations and a convenient place to keep track of all your reported accounts. It's invaluable for anyone, but especially so if you’re looking to improve your credit score before buying a new car.
If the idea of negotiating makes you break out in a cold sweat, definitely check out the CarMax® app. This free app allows you to search for used cars in your area, access vehicle reviews, find the nearest CarMax location and scan window stickers on site to access real-time vehicle data. If you have a loan through CarMax, you can also access your finance information and make payments. Best of all, you can search CarMax inventory at your leisure without any pressure from a salesperson. CarMax car prices are typically fixed, so you’ll know ahead of time what the price is. When you’re ready you can use the app to contact your nearest dealer with questions.
The Auto Trader® app is one of the many used car pricing apps with similarly designed features. Like the others, this app lets you search and shop for used vehicles, contact local dealers, save search information and so on. What we like most though is the advanced feature that lets you scan a VIN number and find comparable models in your area. If you're looking to sell a car, it also gives you the ability to get an instant offer for cash or trade on your existing vehicle.
Cars.comTM app is like the CarMax, Auto Trader, TrueCar and other used car shopping apps available, but this one also features a comparison tool which allows you to compare up to three vehicles at once. Combined with the filter options, this app is handy when you’re deciding between two or more similar vehicles. It also offers many of the same features you’re already getting with its competitors, like vehicle reviews, dealer contact information, new and used vehicle searches, on-lot comparison pricing, dealer reviews and various selling and trade-in options.
If you’re looking to buy locally or from a private seller, the cPro Craigslist® Mobile Client app allows you to search the popular listings site with ease. You can sort by private seller if you don’t want to see the dealer options. The map browsing features GPS auto-location so you can easily find cars near you. There are also multiple enhanced search options, pictures, contact information, notifications and bookmarks to help make the buying experience easier and keep you up-to-date on inventory.
The discerning buyer will like the iSeeCarsTM app. This app lets you search and sort cars using up to 59 different filters to find exactly what you're looking for. With a price analysis tool, this app sorts vehicles by the best price using a system to calculate market value. Dealers are rated and scored to assist with pricing information. Best of all, you won’t be bombarded with any annoying advertisements while using this tool.
It can be difficult to fight through the confusing vehicle rhetoric, high-pressure sales tactics and non-existent vehicle history information. But with your smartphone and a bit of patience you can at least come prepared. Eliminating confusion and arming yourself with the right information before buying a new or used car can go a long way towards maintaining your sanity during the car buying process.
We hope this list of free car buying apps helps save you some time, money and sanity when looking for your next new or used car.
Kelley Blue Book®, Edmunds®, CarFax®, Credit KarmaTM, CarMax®, AutoTrader®, Cars.comTM, Craigslist®, iSeeCarsTM , iPhone®, Android®, and Windows® are registered and common-law trademarks of their respective owners. The owners of these trademarks are not affiliated with Toco Warranty Corp. and have not endorsed Toco Warranty products and services.